Schaffhausen

Schaffhausen

[shahf-hou-zuhn]
Schaffhausen, canton (1993 pop. 73,000), 115 sq mi (298 sq km), N Switzerland. Entirely on the right (northern) bank of the Rhine River, the canton consists of three noncontiguous agricultural and forested areas, which are largely surrounded by German territory. Its inhabitants, who are German-speaking and largely Protestant, raise cereals, fruit, and vegetables and produce a fine wine. Nearly all of the canton's industry is concentrated in the town of Neuhausen and in the adjoining city of Schaffhausen (1993 pop. 33,900), the original settlement and capital of the canton. Schaffhausen is an old city, picturesquely situated on the Rhine. Machinery, metal goods, jewelry, cement, glass, paper, chemicals, woolen textiles, and watches are produced. The Rheinfall, a cataract of the Rhine, plunges c.70 ft (20 m) just southwest of the city and is harnessed for hydroelectric power. Originally a Benedictine abbey (founded c.1050), Schaffhausen became (c.1208) a free city of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled first by its abbots, then by the Hapsburgs, and, after c.1415, by its local trade guilds. It joined the Swiss Confederation in 1501. With an 11th-century minster, a hilltop castle (the Munot), and several old houses, Schaffhausen retains much of its medieval character.
Schaffhausen (German: ) is a city in northern Switzerland and the capital of the canton of the same name; it has an estimated population of 33,527 as of March 31, 2005.

The old portion of the city has many fine Renaissance era buildings decorated with exterior frescos and sculpture, as well as the impressive old canton fortress, the Munot. A train runs out of town to the nearby Rhine Falls in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Europe's largest waterfall, a tourist attraction.

History

Schaffhausen was a city state in the Middle Ages, documented to have struck its own coins starting in 1045. For a time it was under Habsburg domination, but regained its independence in 1415. It allied itself with Zurich in 1457, and became a full member of the Swiss Confederation in 1501. The first railroad came to Schaffhausen in 1857.

Schaffhausen is located in a finger of Swiss territory surrounded on three sides by Germany. On April 1, 1944, Schaffhausen suffered a bombing raid by United States Army Air Forces aircraft which strayed from German airspace into neutral Switzerland. While the United States immediately offered a million dollars in reparations, the raid occurred only a month after the Swiss Air Force had shot down an American bomber.

Industry

Schaffhausen hosts some well-known industrial companies (Georg Fischer) in piping systems, machine tools and automotives, one internationally-reputed watches manufacturer (IWC), and pharmaceutical industry (Cilag, founded by Bernhard Joos).

See also

External links

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