Ger. /zoh"law toorddn'/, n.
1. a city in NW Switzerland, on the Aar River: capital of canton of Solothurn. 16,200.
2. a canton in NW Switzerland. 224,800. French, Soleure.

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      capital of Solothurn canton, northwestern Switzerland. It lies along the Aare River, south of Basel. It originated as the Celtic and Roman stronghold of Salodurum, occupying a strategic position at the approach to the Rhine from the southwest. The medieval town grew around the remains of the Roman castrum (fort) and a house of secular canons, which was founded in the 8th century in honour of St. Ursus. The dukes of Zähringen acquired jurisdiction over the town in 1127, but with the extinction of that house in 1218 it became a free imperial city and took the canons under its protection. In 1295 it allied itself with Bern, through which it became associated with the Swiss Confederation. An unsuccessful Habsburg (Habsburg, House of) attack in 1382 drew Solothurn into the Battle of Sempach, and it was included in the treaty of 1394 by which the Habsburgs renounced their claims to all territories within the Confederation. In the 15th century the town acquired by purchase or conquest the main part of the territories of the present canton, and in 1481 it was admitted to full membership in the Confederation.

      Dominating the town is the Cathedral of St. Ursus (1762–73, on an earlier foundation), which since 1828 has been the cathedral church of the bishop of Basel. Other notable buildings are the Jesuit church (1680–88), the Clock Tower, or Zeitglockenturm (1250), the 15th-century town hall, and the Zeughaus, or Arsenal (1610–14), which houses Switzerland's finest collection of armour and old weapons. Solothurn also has some fine 16th-century fountains, bulwarks, and gates that survive from the medieval fortifications, as well as a modern museum.

      The city's industries include watchmaking, engineering, and the manufacture of machinery, electrical and technical equipment, and paper. Solothurn's position at the foot of the Jura Mountains and near the navigable portion of the Aare River has always made it a junction of various routes; seven railway lines branch off there. The population is German speaking with a Roman Catholic majority. Pop. (2007 est.) 15,184.

      canton, northwestern Switzerland. It is bounded by the cantons of Bern to the west and south, Jura to the west, Aargau to the east, and Basel-Landschaft (demicanton) to the north. It is drained by the Aare River and its tributaries. Consisting of territories acquired by Solothurn (q.v.), its capital city, from which it took its name, it has an irregular shape, including two completely detached districts bordering on France in the north. It also includes the foothills of the Jura Mountains and a plain along the Aare River valley, part of which extends into Bern canton.

      Part of the Helvetic Republic after 1798, it became in 1803 one of the 19 cantons of the Swiss Confederation as reconstituted by Napoleon's Act of Mediation. Although distinctly Roman Catholic, it did not join the Sonderbund (separatist league of Catholic cantons) in 1845, and it approved the federal constitutions of 1848 and 1874. The present cantonal constitution dates from 1887 but was substantially revised in 1895 and 1986.

      Until the 19th century, the canton's economic activities were mainly agricultural and pastoral. Although these are still important, the population is largely engaged in food processing and the manufacture of machinery, metal products, precision instruments, watches, and paper. A nuclear-power station began operation at Gösgen in 1979. The canton has excellent road and rail connections. Olten is a railway junction for direct lines from Geneva, Zürich, and Basel and the St. Gotthard Pass via Lucerne. The population is almost entirely German speaking, with about two-fifths Roman Catholic and one-third Protestant. Area 305 square miles (791 square km). Pop. (2007 est.) 248,613.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Solothurn — Basisdaten Staat: Schweiz Kanton …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Solothurn — (franz. Soleure), 1) Canton der Schweiz, liegt zackig zwischen Basel, Aargau u. Bern, hat zwei kleine Enclaven (Klein. Lützel u. Mariastein nach den Hauptortschaften) zwischen den Cantonen Bern u. Basel u. dem französischen Departement Oberrhein; …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Solothurn [2] — Solothurn, Hauptstadt des gleichnamigen Kantons (s. oben), breitet sich an beiden Seiten der Aare, 426 m ü. M., aus, als »Vorstadt« oder Neu S. auf dem linken, als Alt S. oder eigentliche Stadt auf dem rechten Ufer und ist Knotenpunkt der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Solothurn [1] — Solothurn (franz. Soleure, ital. Soletta), ein Kanton der Schweiz, wird im O. von Basel und Aargau, im Süden und W. von Bern begrenzt, umfaßt mit zwei Exklaven Mariastein und Klein Lützel 791,51 qkm, gehört fast zu gleichen Teilen dem Kettenjura… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Solothurn — (frz. Soleure), Kanton der westl. Schweiz, 791 qkm, (1900) 112.227 meist deutsche E. (37.101 Katholiken, 1897 Israeliten), wird vom Jura durchzogen, von Aare und Birs bewässert; sehr fruchtbar. Der Kanton zerfällt in fünf Bezirke. S. trat 1481… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Solothurn — Solothurn. Die anmuthigste Abwechselung von Bergen, Thälern und Ebenen bildet die Oberfläche dieses 12 Quadrat M. großen und von 60,000 mehr landwirthlichen als industriösen Ew. bewohnten Schweizercantons zwischen Basellandschaft, Aargau und Bern …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Solothurn — Solothurn, der 10. Kanton der schweizer. Eidgenossenschaft, an Baselland, Aargau, Bern, mit einigen Enclaven an Frankreich gränzend, hat auf 12 QM. 69000 E., die mit Ausnahme von 8000 Reformirten im Amte Bucheggberg Katholiken sind. Das Land ist… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Solothurn — [zō′lō̂ toorn΄] 1. canton of NW Switzerland: 305 sq mi (790 sq km); pop. 237,000 2. its capital: pop. 15,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Solothurn — Infobox Swiss town subject name = Solothurn municipality name = Solothurn municipality type = city imagepath coa = Coat of arms of Solothurn.svg|pixel coa= languages = German canton = Solothurn iso code region = CH SO district = Solothurn lat… …   Wikipedia

  • Solothurn — So|lo|thurn: Schweizer Kanton u. Stadt. * * * Solothurn,   französisch Soleure [sɔ lœːr],    1) Hauptstadt des Kantons Solothurn, Schweiz, 437 m über dem Meeresspiegel, erstreckt sich am Fuß des Weißensteins beiderseits der mittleren Aare, 15 300 …   Universal-Lexikon

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