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Canton of Thurgau

Flag of the canton
Area:991 km²
Thurgau (Thurgovia) is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the northeast of Switzerland. The population is 228,200 (2001). 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 and Schaffhausen.

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.

Location of the canton


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. 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. When the Kyburg dynasty became extinct in 1264 the Habsburgs 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. 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 1869.


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 Catholicss.

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