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Trip Planner Europe  /  Switzerland  /  Swiss Alps  /  Canton of Ticino  /  Lake Maggiore  /  Brissago


Islands · Outdoor Activities · Churches
Brissago is a municipality in the district of Locarno in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland. Brissago lies on the western shore of Lake Maggiore and includes the Brissago Islands.HistoryAn ax and ceramic pieces from the Neolithic era as well as Roman coins and other finds, discovered in 1846 in Brenscino, indicate that the area was prehistorically settled. In 1863, during the construction of the main road, some graves were discovered. Fragments of a grave stele with inscriptions were built into the (now destroyed) Church of San Pancrazio on Isola Grande.Brissago is first mentioned in 1289 as Brixago. It used to be known by the German name of Brisa, though this is no longer used.During the Middle Ages the fortunes of the village were closely tied to those of the parish and court of Cannobio in the county of Stazzona. After the fragmentation of the county in the 11th-12th Centuries, Brissago was on the outskirts of the areas of influence of Milan and Como. Its relative isolation allowed to develop into an Imperial community with great autonomy. By the middle of the 13th Century it had its own village law, with the first version appearing in 1289. The community consisted of the three village cooperatives Costa di Piodina, Costa di Mezzo and Costa di Dentro, which were probably in turn were divided into degagne. The local council selected three community leaders (Consoli), one for each vicinia who were supported by council members and some lower officials.
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