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Nidwalden, also Nidwald (german: (Kanton) Nidwalden, ) is one of the 26 cantons forming the
Swiss Confederation , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal s ...

Swiss Confederation
. It is composed of eleven municipalities and the seat of the government and parliament is in
Stans Stans () is the capital of the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Nidwalden (Nidwald) in Switzerland. The official language of Stans is German language, German (spoken there in the variety of Swiss Standard German), but the main language is the l ...
. It is traditionally considered a "
half-canton The 26 cantons of Switzerland (german: Kanton; french: canton; it, cantone; Sursilvan Sursilvan (; also ''romontsch sursilvan'' ; Sursilvan, Vallader, Surmiran, Sutsilvan, and Rumantsch Grischun: ''sursilvan''; Puter: ''sursilvaun'') is a gro ...
", the other half being
Obwalden Obwalden, also Obwald (german: (Kanton) Obwalden, ) is one of the 26 cantons forming the Swiss Confederation. It is composed of seven municipalities and the seat of the government and parliament is in Sarnen. It is traditionally considered a "h ...

Obwalden
. Nidwalden lies in
Central Switzerland Central Switzerland is the region of the Swiss plateau, Alpine foothills geographically the heart and historically the origin of Switzerland, with the cantons of Canton of Uri, Uri, Canton of Schwyz, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Canton of Lucerne, L ...

Central Switzerland
. It borders the canton of Obwalden to the west, the cantons of
Lucerne Lucerne ( , ) or Luzern ()Other languages: gsw, Lozärn, label=; it, Lucerna ; rm, Lucerna . is a in central , in the of the country. Lucerne is the capital of the and part of the of the same name. With a population of approximately 82,000 ...
and
Schwyz The town of Schwyz (; french: Schwytz; it, Svitto) is the capital of the canton of Schwyz The canton of Schwyz (german: Kanton Schwyz ) is a canton of Switzerland, canton in central Switzerland between the Swiss Alps, Alps in the south, Lake ...
to the north, the canton of
Uri A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a unique sequence of characters that identifies a logical or physical resource used by web technologies. URIs may be used to identify anything, including real-world objects, such as people and places, concep ...
to the east and the canton of
Bern ,german: Berner(in),french: Bernois(e), it, Bernese , neighboring_municipalities = Bremgarten bei Bern Bremgarten bei Bern is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corpora ...
to the south. The canton is essentially in the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately across eight Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Switzerl ...

Alps
, south of
Lake Lucerne Lake Lucerne (german: Vierwaldstättersee, literally "Lake of the four Waldstätte, forested settlements" (in English usually translated as ''forest cantons''), french: lac des Quatre-Cantons, it, lago dei Quattro Cantoni) is a lake in central ...

Lake Lucerne
. It is one of the smallest cantons, the population is 40,287 (in 2007). The largest town is
Stans Stans () is the capital of the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Nidwalden (Nidwald) in Switzerland. The official language of Stans is German language, German (spoken there in the variety of Swiss Standard German), but the main language is the l ...
, followed by
Hergiswil Hergiswil is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subor ...

Hergiswil
and
Buochs Buochs is a municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland. History Buochs is first mentioned in 1124 as ''Boches''. In 1184, it was mentioned as ''Buoches'', then in 1210 as ''Buches' ...

Buochs
. Together with Obwalden, Nidwalden was part of the forest canton of
Unterwalden Unterwalden ( Latinized as ''Sylvania'', later also ''Subsylvania'' as opposed to ''Supersylvania'') is the old name of a forest-canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy or Swiss Confederacy, Swiss Confederation (Modern G ...

Unterwalden
, one of the three participants in the
foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy or Swiss Confederacy, Swiss Confederation (Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language, starting in the 17th centur ...
, named in the
Pact of BrunnenThe Pact of Brunnen (''Bund von Brunnen'') is a historical treaty between the cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden Unterwalden ( Latinized as ''Sylvania'', later also ''Subsylvania'' as opposed to ''Supersylvania'') is the old name of a forest- ...
of 1315 with Uri and Schwyz. The division of Unterwalden into two separate territories, Obwalden and Nidwalden, appears to develop over the course of the 14th and 15th centuries.


History

The earliest traces of human settlement date to the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of ...
with sites found near Stansstad that are from 4000 to 3100 BC. The same sites, near Stansstad, also contain
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
(1400–1100 BC) artifacts, with additional Bronze Age sites near Hergiswil and Ennetmoos. A La Tène (500–100 BC) grave for a 10-year-old girl has been found in Stans. Based on these finds, it appears that the Nidwalden region has been settled since the 1st millennium BC. During the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- period of . As a it included large territorial holdings around the in , , and ruled by . From the t ...

Roman Empire
Ob and Nidwalden were inhabited by a
Gallo-Roman Gallo-Roman culture was a consequence of the Romanization (cultural), Romanization of Gauls, Gaulish peoples under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman culture, Roman culture, language ...
or Celtic Nations, Celtic population. While there are few artifacts from the population, many names of the towns, rivers and mountains have either Celtic or Gallo-Roman roots. By the 8th century the Alemanni entered the valleys of present-day Nidwalden and intermingled. At this time a Roman Catholic church was built in Stans, most likely founded by an Alemanni noble family. The church in Stans would remain until the 10th century when it was replaced by a church in
Buochs Buochs is a municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland. History Buochs is first mentioned in 1124 as ''Boches''. In 1184, it was mentioned as ''Buoches'', then in 1210 as ''Buches' ...

Buochs
. Initially the land was owned by a number of noble families and abbeys. But by the late 13th century the major powers in Nidwalden had shrunk to three: House of Habsburg, the Habsburgs, Murbach Abbey and Engelberg Abbey. In 1291 Rudolph I of Germany, Rudolph of Habsburg bought
Obwalden Obwalden, also Obwald (german: (Kanton) Obwalden, ) is one of the 26 cantons forming the Swiss Confederation. It is composed of seven municipalities and the seat of the government and parliament is in Sarnen. It is traditionally considered a "h ...

Obwalden
from Murbach Abbey. In response the people of Nidwalden (
Obwalden Obwalden, also Obwald (german: (Kanton) Obwalden, ) is one of the 26 cantons forming the Swiss Confederation. It is composed of seven municipalities and the seat of the government and parliament is in Sarnen. It is traditionally considered a "h ...

Obwalden
joined shortly before the document was signed, the two-halves forming
Unterwalden Unterwalden ( Latinized as ''Sylvania'', later also ''Subsylvania'' as opposed to ''Supersylvania'') is the old name of a forest-canton of the Old Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy or Swiss Confederacy, Swiss Confederation (Modern G ...

Unterwalden
) joined
Uri A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a unique sequence of characters that identifies a logical or physical resource used by web technologies. URIs may be used to identify anything, including real-world objects, such as people and places, concep ...
and
Schwyz The town of Schwyz (; french: Schwytz; it, Svitto) is the capital of the canton of Schwyz The canton of Schwyz (german: Kanton Schwyz ) is a canton of Switzerland, canton in central Switzerland between the Swiss Alps, Alps in the south, Lake ...
to form an Eternal Alliance, alliance which is considered the foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy. At the time there was no state, but towards the end of the 14th century early forms of government were established. This included institutionalized assemblies and courts. In the 14th and 15th century the people of Nidwalden joined the people of Obwalden to discuss important matters, but the two cantons were never really one. For example, Obwalden did not participate in the annexation of Bellinzona, Riviera (Swiss town), Riviera and Blenio areas (today located in the canton of Ticino). Under the Helvetic Republic imposed in 1798 by French Revolutionary troops, Switzerland became a united country. The ideas of the French Revolution were not popular in some parts of the Swiss nation including Nidwalden. The cantons were accustomed to self-government and many resented the limits on the freedom of worship in particular. When rebel forces threatened the Republic, Nidwalden was attacked by French troops on 9 September 1798. The canton's infrastructure was badly damaged and at least 400 people were killed. After the end of Napoleon I of France, Napoleonic rule in 1814, most of the changes were reverted. Only in 1877 did Nidwalden introduce a new constitution. The open assembly (''Landsgemeinde'') was abolished in 1997.


Geography

Nidwalden is located in the centre of Switzerland. To the north it is bounded by the
Lake Lucerne Lake Lucerne (german: Vierwaldstättersee, literally "Lake of the four Waldstätte, forested settlements" (in English usually translated as ''forest cantons''), french: lac des Quatre-Cantons, it, lago dei Quattro Cantoni) is a lake in central ...

Lake Lucerne
(''Vierwaldstättersee''), to all other directions by mountain chains (Urner Alps). The area of the canton is of which about 40% is inhabited or used for farming. Forests occupy about one third of the canton with about one quarter being considered unproductive (mountains or glaciers).


Politics


Federal election results

: FDP before 2009, FDP.The Liberals after 2009 : "*" indicates that the party was not on the ballot in this canton. : No election held


Cantonal election

The cantonal executive (''Regierungsrat'') is composed of seven members. The local parliament has 60 seats. Nidwalden sends only one deputy to the Swiss Council of States.


Climate and energy policy

WWF rating: 1.9 ("blocked") The World Wide Fund for Nature, World Wildlife Fund commissioned a study into the energy policies of all Cantons of Switzerland, Swiss cantons . No canton was given the highest possible rating of 6, and Nidwalden came out with one of the lowest in the country, above only Canton of Zug, Zug and
Schwyz The town of Schwyz (; french: Schwytz; it, Svitto) is the capital of the canton of Schwyz The canton of Schwyz (german: Kanton Schwyz ) is a canton of Switzerland, canton in central Switzerland between the Swiss Alps, Alps in the south, Lake ...
. Six indicators were used for the assessment, namely cantonal goals, energy efficiency requirements, renewable energy regulations, financial subsidies, energy planning of the individual municipalities, and the ''Gebäudeenergieausweis''. The highest rating can only be given to cantons which are on their way to meeting the requirements of the Paris Agreement in each area.


Municipalities

There are eleven municipalities: Beckenried,
Buochs Buochs is a municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland. History Buochs is first mentioned in 1124 as ''Boches''. In 1184, it was mentioned as ''Buoches'', then in 1210 as ''Buches' ...

Buochs
, Dallenwil, Emmetten, Ennetbürgen, Ennetmoos,
Hergiswil Hergiswil is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subor ...

Hergiswil
, Oberdorf, Nidwalden, Oberdorf,
Stans Stans () is the capital of the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Nidwalden (Nidwald) in Switzerland. The official language of Stans is German language, German (spoken there in the variety of Swiss Standard German), but the main language is the l ...
, Stansstad and Wolfenschiessen. The capital is
Stans Stans () is the capital of the Cantons of Switzerland, canton of Nidwalden (Nidwald) in Switzerland. The official language of Stans is German language, German (spoken there in the variety of Swiss Standard German), but the main language is the l ...
.


Demographics

The population of the canton (as of ) is . , the population included 4,046 foreigners, or about 10% of the total population. By gender, the canton is nearly evenly split with 50.9% male and 49.1% female. In 2000, 75.6% of the population identified as Catholic while 11.9% belong to the Swiss Reformed Church. The population density in December 2005 was 144.3 persons per km2. Most of the population () speaks German (92.5%) with a small minority speaking Italian (1.4%) or Serbo-Croatian language, Serbo-Croatian (1.2%).


Economy

Up to the 20th century Nidwalden was dominated by agriculture. Cattle and cheese were exported mainly to northern Italy. Around 1500, many people in Nidwalden worked as mercenary soldiers. From the middle of the 19th century onwards, trade, industry and tourism gained momentum. Nevertheless, until the middle of the 20th century, agriculture dominated the canton. Today a great number of small and middle-sized businesses dominate the economy. The largest employer is the airplane constructor Pilatus Aircraft, Pilatus. The small and middle-sized businesses work in a wide range of areas. Many specialize in machine construction, medical equipment, international trade, optics and electronics. Traditional areas such as forestry and agriculture are still of importance. Agriculture is specialized in cattle and dairy farming. The farms are still run by individual families. In recent years, Nidwalden is becoming an increasingly common place to live and work. This is caused by its low taxes, its central location between Zürich and Milan, and its natural environment.


Tourism

Because of its mountainous geography, tourism is important in Nidwalden. The lake and the mountains attract many tourists, both during the winter and the summer. Major resorts include Klewenalp, Stanserhorn (mountain), the region around Bannalp, and Bürgenstock.


Culture

Traditional culture in Nidwalden has been kept alive by many local organisations. There is traditional music, yodeling, dances, theaters and festivals. There are also a number of modern cultural events, such a concerts and galleries.


Notes and references


External links


Official Site



Nidwalden Tourism
{{Authority control Cantons of Switzerland Nidwalden, Populated places established in the 1st millennium BC 1st-millennium BC establishments