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Altdorf, Switzerland

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Altdorf, Switzerland
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Altdorf is a small town in the canton of Uri in Switzerland. Located at an average elevation of 458 m (1,503 ft), it covers 10.21 sq km (3.94 sq mi) and has a population of 8,900 people (2012 estimate).

The name Altdorf means "old town" in German. Human habitation here goes back to the 3rd century BC. People originally settled in the forested highland area, but over time they moved down to the banks of the Reuss River. However, the river flooded, forcing them to return to their "old town", hence the name. The earliest mention of Altdorf was in 1223, when it was written as Alttorf. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, it was simply known as Uri.

Altdorf is the site of the famous legend of William Tell, who shot an apple from his son's head. It is said to have taken place at the market place. In 1895 a statue of Tell and his son was erected there.

Today the majority of the population of Altdorf speak German (88.3%) while Serbo-Croatian is the second most common language (4.2%).

Visiting Altdorf

Altdorf is 55 km (34 mi) from Lucerne on the St Gotthard railway line.

Sights & Attractions in Altdorf

  1. Haus für Kunst Uri
  2. Historisches Museum
  3. William Tell memorial.

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