FRAUENFELD, the capital of the Swiss canton of Thurgau, 27 m. by rail N.E. of Zurich or 142 m. W. of Romanshorn. It is built on the Murg stream a little above its junction with the Thur. It is a prosperous commercial town, being situated at the meeting point of several routes, while it possesses several industrial establishments, chiefly concerned with different branches of the iron trade. In 1900 its population (including the neighbouring villages) was 7761, mainly German-speaking, while there were 5563 Protestants to 2188 Romanists. Frauenfeld is the artillery depot for North-East Switzerland. The upper town is the older part, and centres round the castle, of which the tower dates from the roth century, though the rest is of a later period. Both stood on land belonging to the abbot of Reichenau, who, with the count of Kyburg, founded the town, which is first mentioned in 1255. The abbot retained all manorial rights till 1803, while the political powers of the Kyburgers (who were the "protectors" of Reichenau) passed to the Habsburgs in 1273, and were seized by the Swiss in 1460 with the rest of the Thurgau. In 1712 the town succeeded Baden in Aargau as the meeting-place of the Federal Diet, and continued to be the capital of the Confederation till its transformation in 1798. In 1799 it was successively occupied by the Austrians and the French. The old Capuchin convent (1591-1848) is now occupied as a vicarage by the Romanist priest. (W. A. B. C.)
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