(German: , anglicized as Thurgovia
) is a northeast canton
. The population is 237,514 (2007
). The capital is Frauenfeld
To the north the canton is bound by the Lake Constance
across which lies Germany
. The river Rhine
creates the border in the northwest. To the south lies the canton of St. Gallen
; to the west lie the cantons of Zürich
The area of the canton is 991 km² and commonly divided into three hill masses. One of these stretches along Lake Constance in the north. Another is further inland between the river Thur and the river Murg. The third one forms the southern border of the canton and merges with the Hörnli mountain in the pre-Alps.
In prehistoric times the lands of the canton were inhabited by people of the Pfyn culture
along the lake. During Roman times the canton was part of the province Raetia
until in 450
the lands were settled by the Alamanni
. It was only in the 8th century
that the canton became a political unit similar to what it is known today, as a Gau
of the Frankish Empire
. At the time, however, the area was not so clearly defined and changed frequently. Overall, the size of the Thurgau was larger, but during the Middle Ages
the canton became smaller in size. The dukes of Zähringen
and the counts of Kyburg
took over much of the land.
The town of Zürich
was part of the Thurgau until it became reichsunmittelbar
. When the Kyburg dynasty became extinct in 1264
took over that land. The Swiss confederation allied with ten freed bailiwicks of the former Toggenburg
seized the lands of the Thurgau from the Habsburgs in 1460
, and it became a subject territory of seven Swiss cantons (Zurich, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zug and Glarus).
During the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland, both the Catholic and emerging Reformed parties sought to swing the subject territories, such as the Thurgau, to their side. In 1524, in an incident that resonated across Switzerland, local peasants occupied the cloister of Ittingen in the Thurgau, driving out the monks, destroying documents, and devastating the wine-cellar. Between 1526 and 1531, most of the Thurgau's population adopted the new Reformed faith spreading from Zurich; Zurich's defeat in the War of Kappel (1531) ended Reformed predominance. Instead, the First Peace of Kappel protected both Catholic and Reformed worship, though the provisions of the treaty generally favored the Catholics, who also made up a majority among the seven ruling cantons. Religious tensions over the Thurgau were an important background to the First War of Vilmergen (1656), during which Zurich briefly occupied the Thurgau.
In 1798 the land became a canton for the first time as part of the Helvetic Republic. In 1803 the canton of Thurgau became a member of the Swiss confederation. The current cantonal constitution dates from 1987.
The canton of Thurgau is known for its fine agricultural produce. Particularly, apples, pears, fruits and vegetables are well-known. The many orchards in the canton are mainly used for the production of cider. Wine
is produced in the Thur valley.
There is also industry in the canton of Thurgau. The main industries are printing, textiles and handicrafts. Small and middle-sized businesses are important for the cantonal economy. Many of these are concentrated around the capital.
The population is mostly German
speaking. About two thirds of the population are Protestants
with most of the remainder being Roman Catholics
There are 80 municipalities in the canton (as of April 2004
See also: municipalities of Switzerland