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The Canton of Glarus (German: ) is a canton in east central Switzerlandmarker. The capital is Glarusmarker. There are 25 municipalities in the canton (July 2006). The population is German speaking and typically either Protestant or Catholic. There are 38,237 people living in the canton (2007) of which 7,314 (or 19.13%) are foreigners.


The history of this canton is dominated by religion. The inhabitants of the Linthmarker Valley were converted to Christianity in the 6th century by the Irishmarker monk Saint Fridolin, who is still featured in the coat of arms of the canton today. He founded Säckingen Abbey near Basel. From the 9th century, the area around Glarusmarker was owned by the abbey. By 1288 the Habsburgs, bit by bit, claimed all the abbey's rights. This resulted in the people of Glarus joining the Swiss Confederation in 1352.

Between 1506 and 1516 the reformer Huldrych Zwingli was priest in Glarus, but by 1564 all of Zwingli's followers were eliminated. This, however, did not end the struggles between the Protestants and the Catholics in the area. To secure peace it was decided that each party should have its own assembly (Landsgemeinde) in 1623, and at a later stage in 1683, each side was granted the right to have its own tribunals.

Between 1798 and 1803 Glarus was part of the Canton of Linth as established by Napoleon. In 1836 the constitution was adapted to unite the assemblies and establish only one Landsgemeinde.

On May 6, 2007 Glarus became the first Swiss canton to lower the voting age to 16.


The canton of Glarus is dominated by the deep valley of the Linthmarker River and the smaller Sernftalmarker on the east. Most of the area is mountainousmarker. The highest peak in the Glarus Alpsmarker is the Tödimarker at Other mountains include the Hausstockmarker ( ) and the Glärnischmarker ( ). The canton contains part of a thrust fault that was declared a geologic UNESCOmarker world heritage site, under the name Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardonamarker, in 2008. Famous outcrops in ths Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona include those at Lochsite near Glarusmarker and in a mountain cliff called Tschingelhörnermarker between Elmmarker and Flimsmarker (in the same cliff is a natural hole called the Martinsloch). There is also a large lake called Walensee (Lake Walenmarker) on the north. The total area of the canton of Glarus is , of which about half is considered productive. Forestry is an important branch of industry in the canton.


The 25 municipalities (gemeinden) are:


The population ( ) is nearly evenly split between Roman Catholic (37%) and Protestant (44%).


The geography of the canton helped to establish slate works in the 17th century. The mountainous surroundings of Glarus were also an advantage in industrialisation. Cotton spinning was important in the 18th century, complementing traditional woolen spinning. Industrialisation also brought cotton printing, hydroelectric plants and later metal and machinery factories, as well as paper mills.

Dairy farming and cattle breeding were not replaced by industrial advances. Cattle graze on mountain pastures. Cattle breeding and dairying are important on the mountain pastures.


  1. SwissInfo, retrieved on May 7 2007

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