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Heiden

Heiden is a municipality in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden in Switzerland. Its Biedermeier village around the church square is listed as a heritage site of national significance.HistoryHeiden is first mentioned in 1461 as guot genant Haiden.Around 1650 Wolfhalden and Heiden could not agree about the control over the church. This led to the creation of a church in each village in 1652, making them independent.The founder of the Red Cross, Henry Dunant, spent his last years in Heiden. The former president of the ICRC, Jakob Kellenberger, was also born in Heiden.GeographyHeiden has an area, as of 2006, of 7.5km2. Of this area, 52.4% is used for agricultural purposes, while 30.6% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 16.8% is settled (buildings or roads) and the remainder (0.3%) is non-productive (rivers, glaciers or mountains).The municipality is located in the former District of Vorderland on the Kurzenberg. It consists of the village of Heiden and several hamlets near the village.DemographicsHeiden has a population of 4,052, of which about 18.3% are foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has decreased at a rate of -4.2%. Most of the population speaks German, with Serbo-Croatian being second most common and Italian being third .
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