Country Switzerland
Canton Fribourg
District Sarine
Coordinates 46°47′N 7°6′E / 46.783°N 7.1°E / 46.783; 7.1Coordinates: 46°47′N 7°6′E / 46.783°N 7.1°E / 46.783; 7.1
Population 1,581 (Dec 2009)[1]
- Density 547 /km2 (1,417 /sq mi)
Area  2.89 km2 (1.12 sq mi)
Elevation 614 m (2,014 ft)
Postal code 1753
SFOS number 2208
Surrounded by Avry, Corminboeuf, Hauterive, Neyruz, Villars-sur-Glâne
SFSO statistics
Matran is located in Switzerland
View map of Matran

Matran is a municipality in the district of Sarine in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Matran nestles 614 m above sea level about 5.5 km in the Glâne valley from the canton's capital Fribourg.


The first recorded mention is in 1138 under the name Martrens en Nuithonie. Later it changed to Martrans (1148), Matrans (1157), Martranz (1285), Martrant (1445), Martrand (1555) and Matrang (1668). The place name derives from "Martyrus".

In the Middle Ages the Abbey of Payerne owned much land in Matran. In 1442 the hamlet was sold and came into possession of Fribourg. After the collapse of the Ancien Régime (1798) Matran belonged during the Helvetik and later to the county of Fribourg, and in 1848 it became a member of the "Saanebezirk" of the Canton of Fribourg.

Matran has grown from a sleepy hamlet of a few hundred farmers and their families to a population of over 4,000 inhabitants in the last 25 years. Matran boasts a wonderful gothic parish church dating back to the 16th century with rare 18th century ceiling paintings depicting the 4 evangelists by an unknown artist, and a gigantic bronze Pieta by Hugo de Matran at the town mortuary.

The town is dominated by the former Kollegium Sankt Joseph, once a boarding school run by the Redemptorist Fathers (CSSR), which since the early 1990 serves a spiritual retreat for groups. The chapel is frequently used for broadcasts by the TV de la Suisse Romande.

Former students and teachers include the Swiss author Peter Fahr; the Fribourg Cathedral Organist and music professor Francois Seydoux (an expert on Alois Moser the organ builder); Luc Seydoux, organist; Father Alois Schmid (CSSR), author and biology professor at the University of Fribourg; James d'Argantel Odrowaz, painter and author.

Matran is also home to sculptor and painter Hugo de Matran (Hugo Heule).


  1. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office, MS Excel document – Bilanz der ständigen Wohnbevölkerung nach Kantonen, Bezirken und Gemeinden (German) accessed 25 August 2010


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