Schaffhausen is a city in northern Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and the capital of the canton of the same name
Canton of Schaffhausen
The Canton of is a canton of Switzerland. The principal city and capital of the canton is Schaffhausen.- History:Schaffhausen was a city-state in the Middle Ages, documented to have struck its own coins starting in 1045. It was then known as Villa Scafhusun. Around 1049 Count Eberhard von...

; it has an estimated population of 34,587 .

The old portion of the city has many fine Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 era buildings decorated with exterior fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

s and sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, as well as the impressive old canton fortress, the Munot
The Munot is a circular 16th century fortification south of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen. It is surrounded by vineyards and serves as the city's symbol. The ring-shaped fortress was built in the 16th century. Today, it is a tourist attraction and hosts various events.The ring-shaped fortress was...

. A train runs out of town to the nearby Rhine Falls
Rhine Falls
The Rhine Falls is the largest plain waterfall in Europe.The falls are located on the Upper Rhine between the municipalities of Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen, near the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland, between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich. They are 150 m ...

 in Neuhausen am Rheinfall
Neuhausen am Rheinfall
Neuhausen am Rheinfall is a municipality in the canton of Schaffhausen in Switzerland.The little town is well known for the Rhine Falls, a tourist attraction and mainland Europe's largest waterfall....

, Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

's largest waterfall, a tourist attraction.

Origin of the name

The town is first mentioned in 1045 as Villa Scafhusun. There are at least two theories on the origin of this name. One is related to a mention of a "ford" across the Rhine River that first occurs in 1050. This "ford" may actually refer to a scapha or skiff
The term skiff is used for a number of essentially unrelated styles of small boat. The word is related to ship and has a complicated etymology: "skiff" comes from the Middle English skif, which derives from the Old French esquif, which in turn derives from the Old Italian schifo, which is itself of...

 which was used to disembark goods coming from Constance to move them around the Rhine Falls. The name Scafhusun then arose from the scapha used at that point. Another theory is that Scafhusun comes from Schaf (a sheep), as a ram (now a sheep) formed the ancient arms of the town, derived from those of its founders, the counts of Nellenburg.

Coat of arms

The blazon
In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image...

 of the municipal coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 is Or on a Base Vert issuant from sinister a Semi Castle Argent with tower with entrance from which is issuing a Semi Ram Sable. The canting
Canting arms
Canting arms are heraldic bearings that represent the bearer's name in a visual pun or rebus. The term cant came into the English language from Anglo-Norman cant, meaning song or singing, from Latin cantāre, and English cognates include canticle, chant, accent, incantation and recant.Canting arms –...

 coat of arms refers to the second interpretation of the name, sheep-house.


Schaffhausen was a city state in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, documented to have struck its own coins from 1045. About 1050 the counts of Nellenburg founded the Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 monastery of All Saints, which became the centre of the town. Perhaps as early as 1190, certainly in 1208, it was an imperial free city, while the first seal dates from 1253. The powers of the abbot were gradually limited and in 1277 the Emperor Rudolf I
Rudolph I of Germany
Rudolph I was King of the Romans from 1273 until his death. He played a vital role in raising the Habsburg dynasty to a leading position among the Imperial feudal dynasties...

 gave the town a charter of liberties. In 1330 the emperor Louis of Bavaria
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

 pledged it to the Habsburgs. In the early 15th century, Habsburg power over the city waned. By 1411 the guilds ruled the city. Then, in 1415 the Habsburg Duke Frederick IV of Austria
Frederick IV, Duke of Austria
Frederick IV, Duke of Further Austria , also known as Frederick of the Empty Pockets, was the Habsburg duke of Further Austria from 1402, and Count of Tyrol from 1406, until his death...

 sided with the Antipope John XXIII
Antipope John XXIII
Baldassarre Cossa was Pope John XXIII during the Western Schism. The Catholic Church regards him as an antipope.-Biography:...

 at the Council of Constance
Council of Constance
The Council of Constance is the 15th ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V.The Council also condemned and...

, and was banned by the Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund of Luxemburg KG was King of Hungary, of Croatia from 1387 to 1437, of Bohemia from 1419, and Holy Roman Emperor for four years from 1433 until 1437, the last Emperor of the House of Luxemburg. He was also King of Italy from 1431, and of Germany from 1411...

. As a result of the ban and Frederick's need of money, Schaffhausen was able to buy its independence from the Habsburgs in 1418. The city allied with six of the Swiss confederates in 1454 and allied with a further two (Uri
Canton of Uri
Uri is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and a founding member of the Swiss Confederation. It is located in Central Switzerland. The canton's territory covers the valley of the Reuss River between Lake Lucerne and the St. Gotthard Pass. German is the primary language spoken in Uri...

 and Unterwalden
Unterwalden is the old name of a forest-canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy in central Switzerland, south of Lake Lucerne, consisting of two valleys or Talschaften, now organized as two half-cantons, an upper part, Obwalden, and a lower part, Nidwalden.Unterwalden was one of the three participants...

) in 1479. Schaffhausen became a full member of the Old Swiss Confederacy
Old Swiss Confederacy
The Old Swiss Confederacy was the precursor of modern-day Switzerland....

 in 1501.

The Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 was adopted, initially, in 1524 and completely in 1529. The town was heavily damaged during the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 by the passage of Swedish
Swedish Empire
The Swedish Empire refers to the Kingdom of Sweden between 1561 and 1721 . During this time, Sweden was one of the great European powers. In Swedish, the period is called Stormaktstiden, literally meaning "the Great Power Era"...

 (Protestant) and Bavarian (Roman Catholic) troops and the very important bridge was burnt down. It was not till the early 19th century that the arrested industrial development of the town made a fresh start. In 1857 the first railroad, the Rheinfall-Bahn running from Winterthur
Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zurich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth largest population with an estimate of more than 100,000 people. In the local dialect and by its inhabitants, it is usually abbreviated to Winti...

, reached Schaffhausen.

The Nazi war criminal Karl Jäger
Karl Jäger
Karl Jäger was a Swiss-born SS-Standartenführer and Einsatzkommando leader who perpetrated acts of genocide.-Early life and career:...

 was born in Schaffhausen, though he spent most of his adult life in Germany, as soldier, an early member of the Nazi party and the SS, and an Einsatzkommando leader responsible for the mass murder of Jews in Lithuania in 1942.

Schaffhausen is located in a finger of Swiss territory surrounded on three sides by Germany. On April 1, 1944, Schaffhausen suffered a bombing raid by United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 aircraft which strayed from German airspace into neutral Switzerland due to navigation errors. About a hundred civilians were killed; the United States immediately offered a million dollars in reparations.


Schaffhausen covers an area, , of 31.1 square kilometres (12 sq mi). Of this area, 20.7% is used for agricultural purposes, while 47.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 30.2% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (1.9%) is non-productive (rivers or lakes).


Schaffhausen has a population of 34,587, of which 26.4% are foreign nationals. Of the foreign population, , 21% are from Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, 13.3% are from Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, 8.8% are from Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, 13.3% are from Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, 6% are from Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, 9% are from Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, and 28.6% are from other countries. Over the last 10 years the population has remained stable. Most of the population speaks German (84.3%), with Serbo-Croatian being second most common ( 3.4%) and Italian being third ( 3.2%).

The age distribution of the population is children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 19% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 61.6% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 19.4%.

In the 2007 federal election
Swiss federal election, 2007
Elections to the Swiss Federal Assembly, the federal parliament of Switzerland, were held on Sunday, 21 October 2007. In a few cantons, a second round of the elections to the Council of States was held on 11 November, 18 November, and 25 November 2007...

 the most popular party was the SP
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Social Democratic Party of Switzerland is the largest centre-left political party in Switzerland....

 which received 39.5% of the vote. The next two most popular parties were the SVP
Swiss People's Party
The Swiss People's Party , also known as the Democratic Union of the Centre , is a conservative political party in Switzerland. Chaired by Toni Brunner, but spearheaded by Christoph Blocher, the party is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of...

 (33.1%), and the FDP
Free Democratic Party of Switzerland
The Free Democratic Party was a classical liberal political party in Switzerland. It was one of the major parties in Switzerland until its merger with the smaller classical liberal Liberal Party, to form FDP.The Liberals on 1 January 2009....

 (27.4%) .

, 27.4% of the population belonged to the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and 43.6% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church
Swiss Reformed Church
The Reformed branch of Protestantism in Switzerland was started in Zürich by Huldrych Zwingli and spread within a few years to Basel , Bern , St...


The historical population is given in the following table:
year population
1990 34,446
2000 33,596


In Schaffhausen about 69.8% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule
A Fachhochschule or University of Applied Sciences is a German type of tertiary education institution, sometimes specialized in certain topical areas . Fachhochschulen were founded in Germany and later adopted by Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Greece...

). In Schaffhausen, , 1.73% of the population attend kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 or another pre-school, 5.65% attend a Primary School, 2.98% attend a lower level Secondary School, and 2.49% attend a higher level Secondary School.


Schaffhausen has an unemployment rate, , of 2.67%. , there were 196 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 33 businesses involved in this sector. 6,488 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 293 businesses in this sector. 14,019 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 1,486 businesses in this sector.

the mid year average unemployment rate was 2.5%. There were 1,879 non-agrarian businesses in the municipality and 29.9% of the (non-agrarian) population was involved in the secondary sector of the economy while 70.1% were involved in the third. At the same time, 67.1% of the working population was employed full-time, and 32.9% was employed part-time. There were 21,841 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which women made up 46.6% of the workforce. there were 10,019 residents who worked in the municipality, while 5,724 residents worked outside Schaffhausen and 8,026 people commuted into the municipality for work.

Schaffhausen hosts some well-known industrial companies like Georg Fischer
Georg Fischer (Swiss company)
Georg Fischer is a Swiss manufacturer of piping systems for water treatment and corrosion fluids, as well as oil and gas markets. +GF+ is a multinational corporation with 120 facilities around the world, 12,500 employees and US$ 4 billion in sales per year...

 (piping systems, machine tools and automotives), an internationally-reputed manufacturer of watch
A watch is a small timepiece, typically worn either on the wrist or attached on a chain and carried in a pocket, with wristwatches being the most common type of watch used today. They evolved in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century. The first watches were...

es (IWC
International Watch Company
International Watch Co, also known as IWC, is a high-end Swiss watch manufacturer located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. IWC is an active member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH....

), pharmaceutical industry (Cilag
Cilag AG is a Swiss pharmaceutical company. Cilag is a subsidiary of American pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. The company's global marketing activities are operated by Janssen-Cilag, a merger with another Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutica.-Company history:In 1933, Swiss...

, founded by Bernhard Joos
Bernhard Joos
Bernhard Joos , was the son of Dr. Bernhard Joos and Olga Sturzenegger....

) and BB Biotech (biotechnologies). Tyco International
Tyco International
Tyco International Ltd. is a highly diversified global manufacturing company incorporated in Switzerland, with United States operational headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey...

 is incorporated in Schaffhausen.

, there are 102 restaurants, and 11 hotels with 445 beds. The catering industry in Schaffhausen employs 924 people.


Schaffhausen is a stop of the Zürich S-Bahn
Zürich S-Bahn
The Zurich S-Bahn system is a network of rapid transit rail lines that has been incrementally expanded to cover the ZVV area, which comprises the entire canton of Zurich and portions of neighboring cantons The Zurich S-Bahn system is a network of rapid transit rail lines that has been...

 on the line S16
S16 (ZVV)
The S16 is a regional railway line of the S-Bahn Zürich on the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund , Zürich transportation network, and is one of the network's lines connecting the cantons of Zürich and Schaffhausen.- Route :...

Schaffhausen is also a stop on the S33
S33 (ZVV)
The S33 is a regional railway line of the S-Bahn Zürich on the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund , Zürich transportation network, and is one of the network's lines connecting the cantons of Zürich and Schaffhausen.- Route :...

 line that operates between Schaffhausen and Winterthur, and is also a regular stop for high-speed trains to Bern via Zürich, and Stuttgart from Zürich, operated by DB.

Schaffhausen also has a bus network of six lines, including one trolleybus
A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws its electricity from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit...

 line, linking it with nearby places such as Herblingen and Neuhausen am Rheinfall
Neuhausen am Rheinfall
Neuhausen am Rheinfall is a municipality in the canton of Schaffhausen in Switzerland.The little town is well known for the Rhine Falls, a tourist attraction and mainland Europe's largest waterfall....



The town has two football teams, SV Schaffhausen
SV Schaffhausen
SV Schaffhausen is a Swiss football club based in Schaffhausen, in the north of the country. It was founded in 1922. The club colors are black and white. The club nickname is "Spielvi." The club operates a total of twenty teams, including 4 mens teams and 16 junior teams. They are known to be more...

 of the second tier, the Swiss 1. Liga
Swiss 1. Liga (football)
1. Liga is the third tier of the Swiss Football League. The division is split into three groups of 16 teams, by geographical region.-Regional Format:...

, and FC Schaffhausen
FC Schaffhausen
FC Schaffhausen is a Swiss football team from the town of Schaffhausen. The club plays in the Challenge League, the second tier of the Swiss football pyramid.-Honours:*Swiss Cup: Final game*Challenge League: 1st*Swiss Super League: rank 8...

 also of the Swiss 1. Liga
Swiss 1. Liga (football)
1. Liga is the third tier of the Swiss Football League. The division is split into three groups of 16 teams, by geographical region.-Regional Format:...



Schaffhausen has an average of 124.9 days of rain or snow per year and on average receives 883 mm (34.8 in) of precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

. The wettest month is August during which time Schaffhausen receives an average of 98 mm (3.9 in) of rain or snow. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 11.6 days. The month with the most days of precipitation is May, with an average of 12.4, but with only 77 mm (3 in) of rain or snow. The driest month of the year is March with an average of 59 mm (2.3 in) of precipitation over 11.6 days.

Heritage sites of national significance

There 35 buildings or sites in Schaffhausen that are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance
Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance
The Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance is a register of some 8,300 items of cultural property in Switzerland...

. This includes the entire old city of Schaffhausen, the city walls, the Giesserei +GF+ Werk I factory, the city and cantonal archives, the Schweizersbild Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 cave and the Herblingen and Grüthalde Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 settlements. Additionally, there are four former guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

 houses and seven listed houses. There are only two listed religious buildings, the former Benedictine All Saints Abbey and the Church of St. John

See also

  • Cholfirst Radio Tower
    Cholfirst Radio Tower
    Cholfirst Radio Tower is a 96 metres tall lattice tower on Cholfirst Mountain at Flurlingen, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland.The tower was built in 1973 by PTT on Cholfirst Mountain, a 570 metres high mountain near Flurlingen after 3 years of successful operation of an experimental TV transmitter on...

  • List of mayors of Schaffhausen
  • Bombing of Schaffhausen in World War II

External links

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