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Rheinfall, Switzerland


Rheinfall is just outside Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland and close to the German border. It is the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of the sheer volumes of water that flows over it. The falls are 150 m (450 ft) wide and 23 m (75 ft) high, with an average flow of some 700 m/s of water.

Schaffhausen iself has a population of 33,000. It was a city state in the Middle Ages, documented to have struck its own coins starting in 1045. For a time it was under Habsburg domination, but regained its independence in 1415. It allied itself with Zurich in 1457, and became a full member of the Swiss Confederation in 1501. The first railroad came to Schaffhausen in 1857.

Schaffhausen is located in a finger of Swiss territory surrounded on three sides by Germany. On April 1, 1944, Schaffhausen suffered a bombing raid by United States Army Air Forces aircraft which strayed from German airspace into neutral Switzerland.

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