Aarau, the capital of the Canton of Aargau in the Swiss Mittelland, is located on the River Aare to which the town and canton owe their name. The charming old town boasts the most beautiful eaves, the so-called «Dachhimmel», in Switzerland.
Aarau is located by the southern foot of the Jura foothills in the centre of the big city triangle of Zurich, Basel and Lucerne. The central location was recognised early on which is why Aarau for a brief few months in 1798 was Switzerland's first capital and home to Switzerland's first Houses of Parliament.
The many painted eaves, the so-called "Dachhimmel" which predominantly date from the 16th century when the town underwent considerable extension, are a special feature of the old town of Aarau. It's for this reason that Aarau is regarded as the town of beautiful gables.
And Aarau continues to display an appreciation of art: the Aargau Art Museum featuring an extension designed by the famous architects Herzog & de Meuron offers architecture and art exhibitions setting high standards. The «Naturama», Aargau nature museum, is not your run-of-the-mill museum: animals, plants, exciting video films highlight the interaction and areas of conflict between nature and man in Aargau.
The Roggenhausen Wildlife Park has wild animals in their natural habitat as well as a Nature Trail. Cycling and walking trails alongside the River Aare and the Jura slopes provide the perfect opportunity for some pleasant physical exercise. But to see the people of Aargau really enjoying themselves you need to come to one of the local and historic traditional events, such as the «Maienzug» in July, the «Bachfischet» or «Rüeblimärt».
The Canton of Aargau boasts a great many castles, including some of Switzerland's most impressive such as the Lenzburg, the Hallwyl Water Castle and the Habsburg Castle - main residence of the famous dynasty from the the 10th century onwards. And Brugg, Baden and Zurich are a very short journey away. The Vindonissa Museum offers an opportunity to discover traces of the Romans and Windish is home to the biggest and best-preserved amphitheatre in Switzerland. And there are also a lot of historic towns, such as Bremgarten, Zofingen and others, to visit in the Canton of Aargau.