Stans is the capital of the canton of Nidwalden (Nidwald) in Switzerland. It has a population of 7300, 12% of which is of foreign nationality (2002). The area of Stans is 11 km².
Stans was first mentioned in 1172. In 1798 it was stormed by French troops, followed the decision of Nidwalden not to adapt a new constitution. Children orphaned by this event were gathered by the educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi for his first school. The open-air assembly (Landsgemeinde) was held in Stans annually until its abolition in 1997.
Stans can also refer to a species of shimp in the "larval" form that were first ordained on the beaches of Groton Long Point, Connecticut, USA in August of 2006. They were originally discovered by two teenage girls who were swimming along the coast when they noticed the tiny, black shrimp in the water and being washed up on to the shore.
There are 650 local businesses which employ 6900 people. 2% of these are in the agricultural sector, 37% in trade and industry, 61% in services.
The main sights of Stans are: the Stanserhorn (1900m) mountain and tourist resort, accessible via one of the oldest mountain railways in Switzerland, the Stanserhornbahn (1893), and by cable car; the main square (Dorfplatz); the parish church, St. Peter und Paul (built 1641 - 1647) with a Romanesque tower; the monastery St. Klara; a monument for the local hero Arnold von Winkelried and his birth place (Winkelriedhaus); a Capucin monastery; a salt storage house and an old alleyway (Schmiedgasse).
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