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Kanton Aargau
Flag of Canton of Aargau.svg Wappen Aargau matt.svg
Map of Switzerland, location of Aargau highlighted
Coordinates 47°5′N 8°0′E / 47.083°N 8°E / 47.083; 8Coordinates: 47°5′N 8°0′E / 47.083°N 8°E / 47.083; 8
Capital Aarau
Largest city Wettingen
Population 581,562 
 - Density 414 /km² (1,073 /sq mi)
Area  1,404 km² (542 sq mi)
Highest point 908 m (2,979 ft) - Geissfluegrat
Lowest point 260 m (853 ft) - Rhine at Kaiseraugst
Joined 1803
Abbreviation AG
Languages German
Executive Regierungsrat (5)
Legislative Grosser Rat (140)
Municipalities 232 municipalities
Districts 11 Bezirke
Website AG.ch

Aargau (German About this sound Aargau ; rarely anglicized Argovia) is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It comprises the lower course of the river Aare, which is why the canton is called Aar-gau (meaning Aare district).

Contents

History

Aarau

In early medieval times, Argovia or Argowe was a disputed border region between the duchies of Alamannia and Burgundy. A line of the von Wetterau (Conradines) intermittently held the countship of Aargau from 750 until about 1030, when they lost it (having in the meantime taken the name von Tegerfelden). From the extinction of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in 1254 until 1415, the area was ruled by the Habsburgs, and many castles from that time still stand (examples include Habsburg, Lenzburg, Tegerfelden, Bobikon, Stin and Wildegg). The Habsburgs founded a number of monasteries (with some structures enduring, e.g., in Wettingen and Muri), the closing of which by the government in 1841 was a contributing factor to the outbreak of the Swiss civil war - the "Sonderbund War" - in 1847.

In 1415 the Aargau was taken from the Habsburgs by the Swiss Confederates. Bern kept the southwest portion (Zofingen, Aarburg, Aarau, Lenzburg, and Brugg). Some districts, named the Freie Ämter or free bailiwicks (Mellingen, Muri, Villmergen, and Bremgarten), with the countship of Baden, were governed as "subject lands" by all or some of the Confederates.

French forces occupied Aargau from 10 March to 18 April 1798; thereafter the Bernese portion became the canton of Aargau in the Helvetic Republic and the remainder formed the Canton of Baden. In 1803, the two halves were united under the name of canton of Aargau,[1] which was then admitted as a full member of the reconstituted Confederation. Fricktal, ceded in 1802 by Austria via Napoleonic France to the Helvetic Republic, was briefly a separate Swiss canton under a Statthalter ('Lieutenant'), but on 9 March 1803 was incorporated in the canton of Aargau.

The chief magistracy of Aargau changed its style repeatedly:

  • first two consecutive Regierungsstatthalter :
    • April 1798 - November 1801 Jakob Emmanuel Feer (b. 1754 - d. 1833)
    • 1802 - 1803 Johann Heinrich Rothpletz (b. 1766 - d. 1833)
  • Presidents of the Government Commission
    • 10 March 1803 - 26 April 1803 Johann Rudolf Dolder (b. 1753 - d. 1807)
    • 26 April 1803 - 1815 a 'Small Council' (president rotating monthly)
  • annual Amtsbürgermeister 1815-1831
  • annual Landammänner since 1815

In the year 2003 the canton of Aargau celebrated its 200th anniversary.

For several centuries, two villages, Endingen and Lengnau, in Aargau were the only places in Switzerland where Jews were permitted to live[2].

Geography

View of the Lägern from Bözberg

Its total area is 1,404 square kilometers (542.1 sq mi). The capital is Aarau. It borders Germany to the north. To the west lie the cantons of Basel-Landschaft, Solothurn and Bern. The canton of Lucerne lies south of the canton of Aargau, Zürich and Zug to the east.

The canton of Aargau is one of the least mountainous Swiss cantons, forming part of a great table-land, to the north of the Alps and the east of the Jura, above which rise low hills. The surface of the country is beautifully diversified, undulating tracts and well-wooded hills[3] alternating with fertile valleys watered mainly by the Aar and its tributaries. The valleys alternate with pleasant hills, most of which are full of woods. Slightly over one-third of the canton is wooded (518 square kilometers (200.0 sq mi)), while nearly half is used from farming (635.7 square kilometers (245.4 sq mi)). 33.5 square kilometers (12.9 sq mi) or about 2.4% of the canton is considered unproductive, mostly lakes and streams. The canton is heavily developed, with 216.7 square kilometers (83.7 sq mi) or about 15% of the canton developed for housing or transportation.[4]

It contains the famous hot sulphur springs of Baden and Schinznach-Bad, while at Rheinfelden there are very extensive saline springs. Just below Brugg the Reuss and the Limmat join the Aar, while around Brugg are the ruined castle of Habsburg, the old convent of Koenigsfelden (with fine painted medieval glass) and the remains of the Roman settlement of Vindonissa (Windisch).

Political subdivisions

Districts

Districts in Aargau

Aargau is divided into 11 districts:

Municipalities

There are a total of 231 municipalities in the canton of Aargau.

Demographics

The population of Aargau is 581,562 (2007) of which 118,407 (20.36%) are foreigners[5] Religiously, they are (as of 2000) nearly evenly split between Roman Catholics (40%) and Protestants (37%).[6] German is the most common language in the canton, spoken by 87% of the population.[7]

Economy

The farmland of the canton of Aargau is some of the most fertile in Switzerland. Dairy farming, cereal and fruit farming are among the canton's main economic activities. The canton is also industrially developed, particularly in the fields of electrical engineering, precision instruments, iron, steel and cement.

Three of Switzerland's five nuclear power plants are in the canton of Aargau (Beznau I + II and Leibstadt). Additionally, the many rivers supply enough water for numerous hydroelectric power plants throughout the canton. The canton of Aargau is often called "the energy canton".

A significant number of people commute into the financial center of the city of Zürich, which is just across the cantonal border.

Tourism is significant, particularly for the hot springs at Baden and Schinznach-Bad, the ancient castles, the landscape, and the many old museums in the canton[3]. Hillwalking is another tourist attraction but is of only limited significance.

See also

References

  1. ^ Bridgwater, W. & Beatrice Aldrich. (1966) The Columbia-Viking Desk Encyclopedia. Columbia University. p. 11.
  2. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Aargau
  3. ^ a b "Aargau" Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 January 2007
  4. ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Arealstatistik – Kantonsdaten nach 15 Nutzungsarten" (Microsoft Excel). http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/02/03/blank/key/01/zustand_und_entwicklung__tabelle.html. Retrieved 2009-01-15.  
  5. ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2008). "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeit, Geschlecht und Kantonen" (Microsoft Excel). http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/01/02/blank/key/raeumliche_verteilung/kantone__gemeinden.html. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  6. ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religion" (Interactive Map). http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/01/05/blank/key/religionen.html. Retrieved 2009-01-15.  
  7. ^ Federal Department of Statistics (2004). "Wohnbevölkerung nach Sprachen" (Interactive Map). http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/de/index/themen/01/05/blank/key/sprachen.html. Retrieved 2009-01-16.  

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Aargau is a state in Switzerland.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AARGAU (Fr. Argovie), one of the more northerly Swiss cantons, comprising the lower course of the river Aar, whence its name. Its total area is 541.9 sq. m., of which 517.9 sq. m. are classed as "productive" (forests covering 172 sq. m. and vineyards 8.2 sq. m.). It is one of the least mountainous Swiss cantons, forming part of a great table-land, to the north of the Alps and the east of the Jura, above which rise low hills. The surface of the country is beautifully diversified, undulating tracts and well-wooded hills alternating with fertile valleys watered mainly by the Aar and its tributaries. It contains the famous hot sulphur springs of Baden and Schinznach, while at Rheinfelden there are very extensive saline springs. Just below Brugg the Reuss and the Limmat join the Aar, while around Brugg are the ruined castle cf Habsburg, the old convent of Königsfelden (with fine painted medieval glass) and the remains of the Roman settlement of Vindonissa [Windisch]. The total population in 1900 was 206,498, almost exclusively German-speaking, but numbering 114,176 Protestants to 91,039 Romanists and 990 Jews. The capital of the canton is Aarau, while other important towns are Baden, Zofingen (4591 inhabitants), Reinach (3668 inhabitants), Rheinfelden (3349 inhabitants), Wohlen (3274 inhabitants), and Lenzburg (2588 inhabitants). Aargau is an industrious and prosperous canton, straw-plaiting, tobacco-growing, silk-ribbon weaving, and salmon-fishing in the Rhine being among the chief industries. As this region was, up to 1415, the centre of the Habsburg power, we find here many historical old castles (e.g. Habsburg, Lenzburg, Wildegg), and former monasteries (e.g. Wettingen, Muri), founded by that family, but suppressed in 1841, this act of violence being one of the main causes of the civil war called the "Sonderbund War," in 1847 in Switzerland. The cantonal constitution dates mainly from 1885, but since 1904 the election of the executive council of five members is made by a direct vote of the people. The legislature consists of members elected in the proportion of one to every 1 zoo inhabitants. The "obligatory referendum" exists in the case of all laws, while 8000 citizens have the right of "initiative" in proposing bills or alterations in the cantonal constitution. The canton sends 10 members to the federal Nationalrat, being one for every 20,000, while the two Stdnderdte are (since 1904) elected by a direct vote of the people. The canton is divided into eleven administrative districts, and contains 241 communes.

In 1415 the Aargau region was taken from the Habsburgs by the Swiss Confederates. Bern kept the south-west portion (Zofingen, Aarburg, Aarau, Lenzburg, and Brugg), but some districts, named the Freie Amter or "free bailiwicks" (Mellingen, Muri, Villmergen, and Bremgarten), with the county of Baden, were ruled as "subject lands" by all or certain of the Confederates. In 1798 the Bernese bit became the canton of Aargau of the Helvetic Republic, the remainder forming the canton of Baden. In 1803, the two halves (plus the Frick glen, ceded in 1802 by Austria to the Helvetic Republic) were united under the name of Kanton Aargau, which was then admitted a full member of the reconstituted Confederation.

See also Argovia (published by the Cantonal Historical Society), Aarau, from 1860; F. X. Bronner, Der Kanton Aargau, 2 vols., St Gall and Bern, 1844; H. Lehmann, Die argauische Strohindustrie, Aarau, 1896; W. Merz, Die Mittelalt. Burganlagen and Wehrbauten d. Kant. Argau (fine illustrated work on castles), Aarau, 2 vols., 1904-1906; W. Merz and F. E. Welti, Die Rechtsquellen d. Kant. Argau, 3 vols., Aarau, 1898-1905; J. Muller, Der Aargau, 2 vols., Zurich, 1870; E. L. Rochholz, Aargauer Weisthumer, Aarau, 1877; E. Zschokke, Geschichte des Aargaus, Aarau, 1903. (W. A. B. C.)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Aargau

Plural
-

Aargau

  1. A canton of Switzerland (its German name).

Synonyms

  • Argovia (the Italian name), the canton of Aargau, the canton of Argovia

Translations


Esperanto

Proper noun

Aargau

  1. Aargau

German

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Aargau

  1. Aargau

Simple English

 Aargau (info • help) (German Aargau, French Argovie, Italian Argovia, Romansh Argovia; anglicized Argovia) is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It is located around the lower course of the river Aare, which is why the canton is called Aargau (meaning Aare district). The cantons of Basel Landschaft, Solothurn and Bern lie to the west. Lucerne is to the south Zug and Zürich are to the east. To the north is Germany. About 580.000 people live in the canton. Its capital is Aarau.

Districts

Aargau is divided into 11 districts:

Other websites

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