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Canton of Solothurn

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Things to do: historic sites, sightseeing, museums
The city of Solothurn is the capital of the Canton of Solothurn in Switzerland. The city also is the only municipality of the district of the same name.The official language of Solothurn is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect.HistoryPre-Roman settlementThe oldest finds from Solothurn city probably date from the Paleolithic era. The remains of a Mesolithic camp were discovered in 1986 during renovations of the former Kino Elite building. From the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age, only a few scattered items have been discovered.Roman settlementThe Roman settlement at Solothurn was probably built around AD 15-25 as a road station and bridge head on the road from Aventicum to Augusta Raurica or Vindonissa. A small vicus or settlement quickly developed around the castrum. Solothurn is first mentioned in 219 as vico salod on the so-called Eponastein. The name may indicate either that a Celtic settlement existed on the site before or just be a testimony to the mixed Gallo-Roman culture in the north-west provinces of the Roman Empire. It came to be known as Salodurum. Its strategical importance lay in the position at the approach to the Rhine from southeast. In the 2nd-3rd Century AD, the vicus expanded rapidly to fill almost all of what is now the old city of Solothurn, including a portion of today's suburb south of the Aare.
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