Orselina is a municipality in the district of Locarno in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.

Municipality in Switzerland in Ticino

Coat of arms
Location of Orselina


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Country Switzerland
Canton Ticino
District Locarno

  Mayor Sindaco

  Total 2.0 km2 (0.8 sq mi)

449 m (1,473 ft)

  Total 727
  Density 360/km2 (940/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (Central European Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time)
Postal code(s)
SFOS number 5121
Surrounded by Avegno, Locarno, Minusio, Muralto
Website www.orselina.ch
SFSO statistics

. . . Orselina . . .

Aerial view (1953)

Orselina is first mentioned in 1182 as Concilio Meziano. In 1323 it was mentioned as Orsarina.[3] During the Middle Ages and into the Early Modern Period, it (along with Burbaglio and Muralto) was part of the Vicinanza of Consiglio Mezzano, which belonged to the Locarno and Ascona region. The castle SS Abbondio e Biagio was given in the 12th century as a fief by the Bishop of Como to the Muralto family. The castle was destroyed in the 14th century. The political municipality of Orselina was formed in 1803 and included Muralto. Up until 1850, Orselina dominated the municipality, thanks to the economic weight of its livestock and vineyards. However, even by the 19th century, the two towns had developed differently. While in the upper part (Orselina) the traditional socio-economic structure remained, the lower part along the lake (Muralto) grew industrially and urbanized. The differences in the towns led to a division of the municipality in 1881 into Orselina and Muralto.

The 16th-century Church of S. Bernardo was initially dependent on the Church of S. Vittore in Muralto. Starting in 1816, the church’s pastor came from Locarno. It became the center of its own parish in 1966.

During 1930-80, the number of German residents surpassed that of the Italian-speaking. But by 2000, the ratio was the reversed (380 to 460). From the beginning of the 20th century, Orselina developed into a holiday and tourist destination.

Panoramic view of the church, Orselina and Lake Maggiore.

Orselina has an area, as of 1997[update], of 1.94 square kilometers (0.75 sq mi). Of this area, 0.35 km2 (0.14 sq mi) or 18.0% is used for agricultural purposes, while 1.45 km2 (0.56 sq mi) or 74.7% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 0.45 km2 (0.17 sq mi) or 23.2% is settled (buildings or roads) and 0.03 km2 (7.4 acres) or 1.5% is unproductive land.

Of the built up area, housing and buildings made up 17.0% and transportation infrastructure made up 4.6%. while parks, green belts, and sports fields made up 1.5%. Out of the forested land, 69.1% of the total land area is heavily forested and 4.6% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 1.0% is used for growing crops and 17.0% is used for alpine pastures. Of the unproductive areas, 1.5% is unproductive vegetation and.[4]

The municipality is located in the Locarno district, on a hill above Muralto. It consists of the village of Orselina and the settlement of San Bernardo.

. . . Orselina . . .

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. . . Orselina . . .