History from Bratello to Pratteln

Pratteln was first mentioned in the year 1103, as "Bratello". To this day, the historical village centre is still reminiscent of the time when Pratteln was a farming village, owned by the lords of Eptingen.

After the discovery of salt and the installation of saltworks, as well as the construction of the railway and the connection to Basel's city tram network, the rural village became a place of industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After the Second World War, the construction of the motorway accelerated the development of the whole region. The new advantages of the location benefitted business in particular. Industry and logistics grew strongly. Trade, retail, leisure facilities and educational institutions arrived on the scene. Demand for infrastructure increased. The settlement area kept getting bigger – the Basel metropolitan area formed.

Since then, conditions have changed somewhat: Manufacturing has been shifted to more cost-effective locations and highly automated. Today, manufacturing occurs on a just-in-time basis, much more quickly than before. This development has entailed a decrease in both the demand for space and the number of employees required. On the other hand, all kinds of services have become much more important. The population continues to grow. Sustainability is an increasingly important subject. Hardly any more land can be assigned to building zones. The call for inward densification is getting louder. Former industrial sites are proving suitable for conversion. Especially if they are as centrally located as Bredella, the question that arises is: Why not build more modern workplaces and flats there, for a larger number of people?

Growth saw the village Pratteln develop as far as the railway station while the area north of the railway line was still largely reserved for industry. The resulting hard division is now beginning to dissolve more and more: On both sides of the railway, new large-scale developments and high-rises have emerged, which are increasingly similar in terms of form and visual effect. Central Pratteln is to be significantly upgraded by the projects Zentrale, in the former Coop centre, and Bredella, on the plots formerly occupied by the firms Buss AG and Rohrbogen AG. The two sides of the railway will then, at the latest, be perceived as one new whole. It will be possible to see and experience urban Pratteln as having an identity of its own.

Chronology steeped in history
  • 1850
    Farming village
    Pratteln, the farming village. The railway line is not opened until 1854.
  • 1925
    Place of industry
    Pratteln, the place of industry. Factories appear and grow.
  • 1970
    Pratteln is growing. Motorway access brings a boom to Pratteln.
  • 2018
    Pratteln is changing. The suburb becomes increasingly urban.