Appenzell is a village, a statistic town, but not a municipality, and the capital of the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden in Switzerland. Appenzell has no municipal government of its own; rather, the different parts of Appenzell belong to and are governed by the districts (and municipalities) Appenzell, Schwende and Rüte. Because of that, for firefighting, energy and water, the town Appenzell has a special-purpose municipality, the Feuerschaugemeinde.
In 1071 the village was referred to as Abbacella. By 1223 this changed to Abbatiscella, meaning the Abbot’s cell. This refers to the abbot of the Abbey of Saint Gall. The official language of Appenzell is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect.
Appenzell has around 7,000 inhabitants thus making it the political, economic and cultural centre of Switzerland’s smallest canton, Appenzell Innerrhoden. The car-free heart of the village and its pretty high street with numerous small and quaint shops to explore is a great place for a stroll. Ornately decorated houses shape the characteristics of this location where visitors can learn plenty of interesting facts and rather extraordinary experiences during a free public tour of the village.
In Appenzell you gain insight into ancient lifestyle up close – including diverse customs, cultural traditions and works of art such as the old Kunsthalle Ziegelhütte brickworks and Art Museum Appenzell dedicated to Carl Liner, father and son. The Appenzell Museum located by the town hall presents a cross-section of the history and culture of Appenzell Innerrhoden on six floors.
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Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Its cities contain landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge.
The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world renowned.
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