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Canton of Schaffhausen

Canton of Schaffhausen

Flag of the canton
Area:298 km²
The Canton of Schaffhausen is a canton of Switzerland. The principal city and capital of the canton is Schaffhausen.


The canton of Schaffhausen is the northernmost canton of Switzerland, located to the north of Zürich. It lies west of the Lake Constance and has a size of 298 km² (112 square miles), mostly productive agricultural land.

The land is almost entirely surrounded by Germany, which lies to the north, east and west of the canton. The canon of Schaffhausen is even divided by parts of Germany. There are three parts to the canton. The largest part includes the capital Schaffhausen. The small district of Rüdlingen-Buchberg lies in the south west of the canon, north of Stein am Rhein. The third part is a small enclave within Germany called Büsingen.

Most of the canton lies on a plateau dominated by the Hoher Randen. The summit of this mountain is 912m. The slopes of the mountain are gentle towards the south where it reaches the Rhine valley. Short and narrow valleys intersect these gentle slopes. The Klettgau is one such valley.

The Rhine Falls are the largest water falls in Europe and lie on the border of the canton of Schaffhausen, the canton of Zürich and Germany.

Location of the canton


Schaffhausen was a city-state in the Middle Ages, documented to have struck its own coins starting in 1005. It was then known as Villa Scafhusun. Around 1049 a Benedictine monastery was founded which lead to the development of a community. This community achieved independence in 1190. Until 1218 Schaffhausen was a free imperial city. Until 1330 the town not only lost all its lands but also its independence to the Habsburgs. The canton regained its independence in 1415 when it bought itself free. It allied itself with Zürich in 1454, and became a full member of the Swiss Confederation in 1501. The first railroad came to Schaffhausen in 1857. In 1944 Schaffhausen suffered from a bombing raid by United States air force planes that accidentally strayed from Germany to neutral Switzerland.

The cantonal constitution was written in 1876 and revised in 1895.


Well-regarded white Riesling wine is grown here. The main industries, however, are the production of machinery and metal goods. There is also watch making and jewellery. Minor industrial branches are textiles, leather goods, glass, cement, paper and chemicals. There is a brewery in the canton.

At Rheinau there is a hydro electrical power plant generating electricity for the canton and export. The largest demands of electricity are made by the chemical industry in Rheinfelden and the aluminium plant at Neuhausen am Rheinfall. The city of Schaffhausen also uses a large quantity of the electricity produced at Rheinau.

There is a busy rail junction at Schaffhausen with trains from Switzerland and Germany.


In 2002 the population was 73,400 people. The German language predominates. The majority is Protestant.

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