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The Canton of Fribourg is a canton of Switzerlandmarker. It is located in the west of the country. The capital of the canton is Fribourgmarker. The name Fribourg is French, whereas is the German name for both the canton and the town.

History

On the shores of Lake Neuchâtelmarker and Lake Moratmarker significant traces of prehistoric settlements have been unearthed.

The canton of Fribourg joined the Swiss Confederation in 1481. The area is made up of lands acquired by the capital Fribourgmarker. The present extent was reached in 1803 when Murtenmarker (Morat) was acquired. The canton of Fribourg joined the separatist league of Catholic cantons in 1846 (Sonderbund). The following year, its troops surrendered to the federal army.

Geography

The canton of Fribourg lies in the west of Switzerlandmarker. It is bounded to the west by the Lake of Neuchâtel. To the west and the south of the canton lies the canton of Vaudmarker. To the east the canton of Fribourg is bounded by the canton of Bernmarker. There are two enclaves within Vaud and one within the canton of Bern, as well as a large exclave on the lake. The area of the canton of Fribourg is , including the small enclaves.

The canton lies on the elevated Swiss Plateau. In the west the lands are flat, but towards the south east of the canton, the lands rise to a hilly region. This region is commonly called pre-Alpsmarker but is part of the Bernese Alpsmarker. The highest elevation in the canton is the Vanil Noirmarker with .

The river Saane (Sarine) flows from the south to the north of the canton. Together with its tributaries it drains most of the lands in the canton. The river Saane later joins the river Aaremarker. The river Broyemarker drains the west of the canton and flows northeast into Lake Moratmarker (Murtensee). The southwest part of the canton is drained by the river Veveyse which flows south into Lake Genevamarker ( ).

Political subdivisions

Districts

Districts of canton Fribourg
The Canton is divided into 7 districts:

Municipalities

There are 168 municipalities in the canton of Fribourg . The number is decreasing as the canton subsidizes mergers between municipalities.

Demographics

The canton is predominantly Roman Catholic ( , 70%) with a Protestant minority (15%).

Two-thirds of the population speak French, and one-third speaks Alemannic dialects of German. The French-speaking areas are in the west of the canton, whereas the Alemannic-speaking areas are in the east. There are a number of bilingual towns, a fact that has attracted some businesses, such as telesales. The population (as of 2007) is 263,241 of which 43,838 (or 16.65%) are foreigners.

Economics

Agriculture is important in the canton of Fribourg. The main agricultural activities are cattle breeding and dairy farming. Cheese-making is established, in particular in the district of La Gruyère, home of the cheese with the same name. The chocolate making industry is also well established in Brocmarker, where even an international research centre has been lately inaugurated (see: [37521]. Other agricultural produces include tobacco, fruit and cereals. Agriculture is predominant in the north of the canton where the most fertile lands lie.

There is light industry concentrated around the capital Fribourgmarker. Other centres of light industry are Bullemarker, Villars-sur-Glânemarker, Düdingenmarker (Guin), Murtenmarker (Morat) and Estavayer-le-Lacmarker. These five centers have also a large number of established small and medium sized businesses, many of which are in the service sector. Forests are important in the La Gruyère (Greyerz) district.

The district of La Sarine is home to electric power plants used for home use as well as export. The mountain areas attract tourists all year round. The lake regions are frequented by tourists - mainly families - in summer and autumn.

Transport

The canton of Fribourg is well connected to other areas of Switzerlandmarker with motorways A1, A12 and fast rail links. The main railway between Genevamarker and Lausannemarker in the south west to Bernmarker and Zürichmarker connects Fribourg with other centres of the country.

See also



References



External links




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