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Aargau, one of Switzerland's 26 cantons, which are the country's self-administrative units, is located in the northern part of the country, serving as a state border with Germany. The canton neighbors the demicanton of Basel-Landschaft and the cantons of Solothurn and Bern to the west, Lucerne to the south, with Zug and Zürich to the east. The capital city, Aarau, can be found in the central-western part of the territory.[3] Regarding Aargau's geographical features, the canton forms a northeastern section of the great Swiss Plateau, which lies between the Alps to the south and the Jura Mountains. Aargau's landscape is generally composed of forested hills and fertile valleys used for agriculture.[2] Among the larger protected areas within the region is the Aargau Jurapark, stretching across the northern part of the territory.[4] Aside from the natural areas such as the Jurapark, Aargau is often visited for its historical landmarks, namely the castles such as the Hallwyl Castle or Lenzburg Castle, offering various exhibitions and events.[9] 

What Aargau is known for

Aarau, located at the Jura foothills, is the capital city of the canton Aargau. Apart from being the seat of the canton's government, the city also bears a historical significance, as Aarau was home to Switzerland's first Houses of Parliament. The city in current times is one of the more popular touristic destinations in Aargau. Among the notorious features of Aarau is the so-called "Dachhimmel," which are ornamentally painted eaves dating back to the 16th century. These Dachhimmels can be found spread across the Aarau's old town. Reportedly, it is for these Dachhimmels that Aarau is considered the city of "beautiful gables." Within the Aarau's borders are also located several museums. One such example is the Aargau Art Museum, which is home to an architectural collection by Herzog & de Meuron. In terms of nature and outdoors, there is the Roggenhausen Wildlife Park, creating a natural habitat for various wild animals. For visitors seeking outdoor sports activities, it is recommended they explore nature by visiting the walking trails along the River Aare and the Jura slopes, as well as go cycling in the area.[8]

The canton of Aargau offers a relatively considerable number of castles to tourists. Allegedly one of the most popular is the Lenzburg Castle, built in the 12th century. The castle served as a home to dukes and counts in the course of its history. In current times, not only the castle but also the courtyard, baroque garden, and the knight's house built in the 14th century can be visited by tourists. Additionally, Lenzburg often serves as a venue for various events.[9] In the southern part of the region is located the Hallwyl Castle, considered Switzerland's "most beautiful" moated castle. The exhibition at the Hallwyl Castle showcases the life and history of the Hallwyl family. Beyond the museum exhibitions, there's a cafe available at the castle for guests' convenience. [10]

The largest water area and one of the popular destinations among tourists seeking outdoor recreation is Hallwil Lake, located in the southern part of the territory. Building on the shores of Hallwil Lake is prohibited by law, which is meant to protect the lake and its adjacent nature. Thus, the lake shore is often used for walking and cycling. Swimming, boating, and engaging in other types of water sports in the lake are also possible. Additionally, several spa centers can be found in close proximity to Hallwil Lake as well.[11] 


Aargau is located in the northern part of Switzerland, serving as a border canton with Germany. The region is one of the least mountainous areas in the country, being part of the great plateau located to the north of the Alps and east of Jura. Aargau's landscape is diversified, formed mainly by wooded hills and fertile valleys. Reportedly, over one-third of the canton's territory (518 square kilometers) is covered by woods, and almost half (635.7 square kilometers) is used for agriculture. In terms of waters and water flows, the predominant river is Aare, while the most notable and most extensive body of water in Aargau is the before-mentioned Lake Hallwil, located in the southern part of the territory. The lake partly protrudes across the borders to the Canton of Lucerne. Additionally, in Aargau, mineral and medicinal springs can be found, such as the hot sulfur springs of Baden and Schinznach-Bad, or relatively extensive saline springs at Rheinfelden, to name a few.[2] 

Within Aargau's borders, there are several nature protection areas. An extensive green space covers the northern part of the canton, the Aargau Jurapark, which neighbors the city of Arau. Aargau Jurapark is a regional nature park concerned with the region's protection, preservation, and sustainable development.[4] The park comprises various habitats, such as light pine forests, vineyards, or standard orchards, which create a home to a considerable variety of plant and animal species, such as hares, bats, toads, salamanders, and more.[5] Apart from nature observation, the Aargau Jurapark serves as a popular touristic destination, presumably due to the abundance of hiking, walking, and cycling trails.[6] 

Concerning the average temperatures in Aargau's capital, Aarau, the warmest month is July, with an average daily temperature of 26°C, while January has an average temperature of 5°C, making it the coldest month. February tends to be the driest month in Aarau, with an average of 44 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during May, receiving about 101 mm on average.[7]


Aargau has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Reportedly, the first settlers to live in the territory were Hallwilersee people. Later, in 14 AD, Romans took over the Aargau territory, which became part of the Roman Empire. Apart from building a Roman legionary camp, Romans also brought viticulture and wine culture to Aargau, which is said to remain in current times.[1]

During the early middle ages, Aargau belonged to the Frankish Empire. However, over the course of time, the canton became fragmented, and its significant part fell under the Habsburg governance. Several castles and monasteries can be found across the region, originating in the Habsburg era of Aargau. In 1415, the conquest of Aargau took place, resulting in the canton's incorporation into the Old Swiss Confederation, lasting for the following centuries. During that time, the city-state of Bern overtook the governance of Unteraaragu or Berner Aargau, which eventually became one of the significantly industrialized and developed regions.[2]

The borders of the canton of Aargau were established in 1803. Switzerland's territory was then part of the vassal state belonging to France, known under the name the "Helvetic Republic." At that time, Napoleon Bonaparte designed the new borders of the canton of Aargau, which was formerly fractured and divided between different countries.[1] 

Aargau has been part of the Swiss Confederation since 1803. The region's territory is one of the most fertile within Switzerland's borders. Thus, the area is used for dairying, fruit, cereal growing, and straw plaiting. Some of the predominant industries in Aargau include electrical engineering, food processing, the manufacture of machines, chemicals, metal, and electrical production, to name a few. In terms of people and culture, the population of Aargau is almost exclusively German speaking, with the majority being of Roman Catholic religion.[3]