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capital of Aargau canton, northern Switzerland, at the southern foot of the Jura Mountains, on the right bank of the Aare River, west of Zurich. Founded about 1240 by the counts of Kyburg, it passed to the Habsburgs in 1264 and was taken by the Bernese in 1415. In 1798 it became the capital of the Helvetian Republic. Notable landmarks include several 13th-century towers, the town church (1471), the town hall (1762), and a cantonal library, containing a Bible with marginal notes made by the religious reformer Huldrych Zwingli. To the northeast is the ruined Habsburg, or Habichtsburg (Hawk's Castle), the original home of the Habsburg family. The medieval Lenzburg castle, located east of Aarau, houses a historical museum and a conference centre. There is considerable industry in the newer parts; manufactures include beverages and food products, electrical goods, precision instruments, and machines. The population is largely German speaking. The majority of the residents are Protestants. Pop. (2007 est.) 15,478.
canton, northern Switzerland. It borders Germany to the north and is bounded by the demicanton of Basel-Landschaft and by the cantons of Solothurn and Bern to the west, Lucerne to the south, and Zug and Zurich to the east. It forms the northeastern section of the great Swiss Plateau between the Alps and the Jura Mountains, taking in the lower course of the Aare River, whence its name. Its valleys alternate with pleasantly wooded hills