20,043 (Dec 2011)
Jolanda Urech SPS/PSS
(as of February 2014)
Aarau ( , locally [???r?? northeast of Bern. The municipality borders directly on the Canton of Solothurn to the west. It is the second-largest city in Aargau after Wettingen. At the beginning of 2010 Rohr became a suburb of Aarau.
The official language of Aarau is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect.
The old city of Aarau is situated on a rocky outcrop at a narrowing of the Aare river valley, at the southern foot of the Jura mountains. Newer districts of the city lie to the south and east of the outcrop, as well as higher up the mountain, and in the valley on both sides of the Aare. The neighboring municipalities are Kuttigen to the north, Rohr and Buchs to the east, Suhr to the south-east, Unterentfelden to the south, and Eppenberg-Woschnau and Erlinsbach to the west. Aarau and the nearby neighboring municipalities have grown together and now form an interconnected agglomeration. The only exception is Unterentfelden whose settlements are divided from Aarau by the extensive forests of Gonhard and Zelgli. Approximately nine-tenths of the city is south of the Aar, and one tenth is to the north. It has an area, as of 2006, of 8.9 km2 (3.4 sq mi). Of this area, 6.3% is used for agricultural purposes, while 34% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 55.2% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (4.5%) is non-productive (rivers or lakes). The lowest elevation, 365 meters (1,198 ft), is found at the banks of the Aar, and the highest elevation, at 471 meters (1,545 ft), is the Hungerberg on the border with Kuttigen.
A few artifacts from the Neolithic period were found in Aarau. Near the location of the present train station, the ruins of a settlement from the Bronze Age (about 1000 BC) have been excavated. The Roman road between Salodurum (Solothurn) and Vindonissa passed through the area, along the route now covered by the Bahnhofstrasse. In 1976 divers in the Aare found part of a seven-meter wide wooden bridge from the late Roman times.