Uri (ōˈrē) [key], canton (1993 pop. 35,500), 415 sq mi (1,075 sq km), central Switzerland, one of the Four Forest Cantons. Altdorf is the capital. The most sparsely populated of the Swiss cantons, Uri is an Alpine region of glaciers and pastures, with forests and meadows in the Reuss River valley. Its inhabitants are German-speaking and Roman Catholic. The region became (853) a fief of the Fraumünster convent at Zürich. It was incorporated into the Holy Roman imperial bailiwick of Zürich after 1098. Under Emperor Frederick II it was granted (1231) the status of a dependency of the emperor. The scene of the events of the William Tell legend, Uri in 1291 formed with Schwyz and Unterwalden the league that became the nucleus of Switzerland. It rejected the Reformation and in 1845 joined the Catholic Sonderbund.
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