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Münchenstein commune (Baselland canton, Switzerland)

Last modified: 2023-04-29 by martin karner
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[Flag of Münchenstein] image by Pascal Gross

Argent, a Monk (German: Mönch) habited unhooded Sable and shoed Gules passant.
Željko Heimer, 13 November 2001

This is not a monk at all – see Münchenstein's website. A guy named Münch built a castle here c. 1270. That castle (Stein) gave the village its name. Blazon in German is: "Seit 1946. Auf silbernem Grund ein schwarzer, barhäuptiger, rot beschuhter Mönch. Das Wappen entspricht dem Siegel des bischöflich-baslerischen Ministerialengeschlechts Münch. Flagge: weiss-schwarz (Mühlemann, 1991).
CoA: Since 1946. Argent, a Monk habited unhooded Sable and shoed Gules passant. The arms are like the seal of the episcopal-Baselian family of bonded nobility Münch. Flag: WN.
Jarig Bakker, 13 November 2001

[Ed. note: Of course the emblem shows a monk – that's what the blazon says too. This does not change the fact that it was historically incorrectly derived.]

Information from Münchenstein's website:
Münchenstein is called Kekingen at its first written mention in 1196. In 1270, the name Geckingen appears in a deed of donation from Basel Cathedral.
Today's place name appears for the first time in 1295 in the form Münchenstein. It means: "castle rock of the Münchs". The word Münch refers to the builders of the castle named after them, the episcopal servants from the Münch family. The word Stein used to be a common term for castles that stood on rocks.
In 1334, the change of name is explicitly mentioned in a document issued by the cathedral chapter of Basel: Geckingen que nunc Münchenstein appellatur (Geckingen, which is now called Münchenstein).
In 1421 the umlaut "ö" was used and the village was written as Mönchenstein. This name lasted until 1881. With the municipal law of 1881, the name Münchenstein was officially re-introduced.