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Aarau(ä`rou), town (1993 pop. 15,900), capital of Aargau canton, N Switzerland, at the foot of the Jura Mts. and on the Aare River. Manufactures include bells, mathematical instruments, electrical goods, shoes, and other products. Aarau was founded c.1250; it was the temporary capital (1798) of the Helvetic RepublicHelvetic Republic
, 1798–1803, Swiss state established under French auspices. In Sept., 1797, several exiled Swiss leaders in France (notably Frédéric César de La Harpe) formally urged the French Revolutionary government (the Directory) to help in
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a town in N Switzerland, capital of Aargau canton: capital of the Helvetic Republic from 1798 to 1803. Pop.: 15 470 (2000)