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Canton de Fribourg
Kanton Freiburg
Flag of Canton of Fribourg.svg Wappen Freiburg matt.svg
Map of Switzerland, location of Canton of Fribourg highlighted
Coordinates 46°43′N 7°5′E / 46.717°N 7.083°E / 46.717; 7.083Coordinates: 46°43′N 7°5′E / 46.717°N 7.083°E / 46.717; 7.083
Capital Fribourg/Freiburg
Population 263,241 
 - Density 158 /km² (408 /sq mi)
Area  1,671 km² (645 sq mi)
Highest point 2,389 m (7,838 ft) - Vanil Noir
Lowest point 429 m (1,407 ft) - shore Lake Neuchâtel
Joined 1481
Abbreviation FR
Languages French, German
Executive Conseil d'Etat/Staatsrat (7)
Legislative Grand Conseil/Grosser Rat (130)
Municipalities 242 municipalities
Districts 7 Bezirke
Website FR.ch

The Canton of Fribourg is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the west of the country. The capital of the canton is Fribourg. The name Fribourg is French, whereas About this sound Freiburg is the German name for both the canton and the town.

Contents

History

On the shores of Lake Neuchâtel and Lake Morat significant traces of prehistoric settlements have been unearthed.

The canton of Fribourg joined the Swiss Confederation in 1481. The area is made up of lands acquired by the capital Fribourg. The present extent was reached in 1803 when Murten (Morat) was acquired. The canton of Fribourg joined the separatist league of Catholic cantons in 1846 (Sonderbund). The following year, its troops surrendered to the federal army.

Geography

Fribourg Prealps: Dent de Brenleire (2358 m, to the right) and Vanil Noir (2389 m, in the background)

The canton of Fribourg lies in the west of Switzerland. It is bounded to the west by the Lake of Neuchâtel. To the west and the south of the canton lies the canton of Vaud. To the east the canton of Fribourg is bounded by the canton of Bern. There are two enclaves within Vaud and one within the canton of Bern, as well as a large exclave on the lake. The area of the canton of Fribourg is 1,669 square kilometers (644.4 sq mi), including the small enclaves.

The canton lies on the elevated Swiss Plateau. In the west the lands are flat, but towards the south east of the canton, the lands rise to a hilly region. This region is commonly called pre-Alps but is part of the Bernese Alps. The highest elevation in the canton is the Vanil Noir with 2,389 m (7,838 ft).

The river Saane (Sarine) flows from the south to the north of the canton. Together with its tributaries it drains most of the lands in the canton. The river Saane later joins the river Aare. The river Broye drains the west of the canton and flows northeast into Lake Morat (Murtensee). The southwest part of the canton is drained by the river Veveyse which flows south into Lake Geneva (French: Le Léman).

Political subdivisions

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Districts

Districts of canton Fribourg

The Canton is divided into 7 districts:

Municipalities

There are 168 municipalities in the canton of Fribourg as of January 2006. The number is decreasing as the canton subsidizes mergers between municipalities.

Demographics

The canton is predominantly Roman Catholic (as of 2000, 70%) with a Protestant minority (15%).[1]

Two-thirds of the population speak French, and one-third speaks Alemannic dialects of German. The French-speaking areas are in the west of the canton, whereas the Alemannic-speaking areas are in the east. There are a number of bilingual towns, a fact that has attracted some businesses, such as telesales. The population (as of 2007) is 263,241 of which 43,838 (or 16.65%) are foreigners.[2]

Economics

Agriculture is important in the canton of Fribourg. The main agricultural activities are cattle breeding and dairy farming. Cheese-making is established, in particular in the district of La Gruyère, home of the cheese with the same name. The chocolate making industry is also well established in Broc, where even an international research centre has been lately inaugurated (see: [1]. Other agricultural produces include tobacco, fruit and cereals. Agriculture is predominant in the north of the canton where the most fertile lands lie.

There is light industry concentrated around the capital Fribourg. Other centres of light industry are Bulle, Villars-sur-Glâne, Düdingen (Guin), Murten (Morat) and Estavayer-le-Lac. These five centers have also a large number of established small and medium sized businesses, many of which are in the service sector. Forests are important in the La Gruyère (Greyerz) district.

The district of La Sarine is home to electric power plants used for home use as well as export. The mountain areas attract tourists all year round. The lake regions are frequented by tourists - mainly families - in summer and autumn.

Transport

The canton of Fribourg is well connected to other areas of Switzerland with motorways A1, A12 and fast rail links. The main railway between Geneva and Lausanne in the south west to Bern and Zürich connects Fribourg with other centres of the country.

See also

References

External links


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