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Largest city  Wettingen
University  University of Business & Finance Switzerland
Language spoken  German
Area  1,403.73 km2
Capital  Aarau
Population  193,834 (1888)
Destinations  Aarau, Baden, Brugg, Lenzburg, Wohlen
Points of interest  Hallwyl Castle, Lenzburg Castle, Habsburg Castle, Klingnauer Stausee, Staffelegg Pass

The Canton of Aargau (German  Aargau ; rarely anglicized Argovia; see also other names) is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It is situated by the lower course of the River Aare, which is why the canton is called Aar-gau (meaning Aare province). It is one of the most densely populated regions of Switzerland.


Map of Aargau

Switzerland castle wildegg aargau schloss wildegg


Aargau in the past, History of Aargau

The area of Aargau and the surrounding areas were controlled by the Helvetians, a member of the Celts, as far back as 200 BC, eventually being occupied by the Romans and then by the 6th century, the Franks. The Romans built a major settlement called Vindonissa, near the present location of Brugg.


The capital of the canton is Aarau, which is located on its western border, on the River Aare. The canton borders Germany to the north, the Rhine forming the border. To the west lie the Swiss cantons of Basel-Landschaft, Solothurn and Bern; the canton of Lucerne lies south, and Zürich and Zug to the east. Its total area is 1,404 square kilometers (542 sq mi). It contains both large rivers, the Aare River and the Reuss River.

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 alternating with fertile valleys watered mainly by the Aare 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 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 (notably Lake Hallwil) and streams. With a population density of 450/km2 (1,200/sq mi), the canton has a relatively high amount of land used for human development, with 216.7 square kilometers (83.7 sq mi) or about 15% of the canton developed for housing or transportation.

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 Königsfelden (with fine painted medieval glass) and the remains of the Roman settlement of Vindonissa (Windisch).

Fahr Abbey forms a small exclave of the canton, otherwise surrounded by the canton of Zürich, and since 2008 is part of the Aargau municipality of Würenlos.


As of 2010, Aargau had an unemployment rate of 3.6%. As of 2008, there were 11,436 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 3,927 businesses involved in this sector. 95,844 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 6,055 businesses in this sector. 177,782 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 21,530 businesses in this sector.


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