1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Toggenburg, The

TOGGENBURG, THE, a special name given to the upper valley of the river Thur, in the Swiss Canton of St Gall. It descends in a N.W. direction from the watershed between the Rhine and the Thur, and is enclosed N.E. by the chain of the Séintis (8216 ft.) and S.W. by that of the Kurfiirsten (7576 ft.) and of the Speer (6411 ft.). It is a fertile valley of about 30 m. in length from the source of the river to Wil on the railway line between Winterthur and St Gall. The upper half is traversed by an excellent carriage road, while from Kappel there is a railway to Wil (151/2 m.). Its industrious population. numbered 34,594 in 1900, nearly equally divided between Romanists and Protestants, mostly German-speaking. Those of the upper half are devoted to pastoral pursuits while those of the lower half are engaged in the manufacture of muslin and cotton. This valley is as yet frequented only by Swiss visitors, and retains many characteristics of sub-alpine Switzerland before the arrival of the horde of tourists. At Wildhaus, the highest village (3632 ft.), the house wherein Huldreich Zwingli, the Swiss Reformer, was born in 1484, is still shown. The chief village is Lichtensteig (1387 inhab.), but those of Kirchberg (5025 inhab.) and of Wattwil (4971 inhab. are the most populous. On the extinction of the main line of the local counts (1436), this portion of their dominions passed to the lord of Raron (in the Valais), who sold it in 1468 to the abbot of St Gall.  (W. A. B. C.)