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Balsthal

Balsthal is a municipality in the district of Thal in the canton of Solothurn in Switzerland.HistoryBalsthal is first mentioned in 968 as Palcivallis. In 1255 it was mentioned as Balcetal.GeographyBalsthal has an area, as of 2009, of 15.71km2. Of this area, 4.62km2 or 29.4% is used for agricultural purposes, while 8.53km2 or 54.3% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 2.26km2 or 14.4% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.1km2 or 0.6% is either rivers or lakes and 0.18km2 or 1.1% is unproductive land.Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 2.2% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 7.3% and transportation infrastructure made up 3.6%. Out of the forested land, 53.1% of the total land area is heavily forested and 1.2% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 6.4% is used for growing crops and 19.7% is pastures and 2.7% is used for alpine pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water.The municipality is located in the Thal district. It was a market town and administrative center for the Oberen Hauenstein. It consists of the village of Balsthal, the industrial settlement of Klus and the hamlets of Sankt Wolfgang.Coat of armsThe blazon of the municipal coat of arms is Azure two Snakes Argent in saltire bowed embowed reguardant.DemographicsBalsthal has a population of. As of 2008, 28.9% of the population are resident foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has changed at a rate of 1.7%.
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