Neighbors are Germany to the north, France to the
west, Italy to the south, and Austria and
Liechtenstein to the east
Capital city- Berne- German speaking Allemande
Switzerland is a landlocked between the Alps, the
Central Plateau and the Jura
Switzerland has 26 cantons, member states of the
federal state of Switzerland.
Birth place of Red Cross and has the second
largest office of the UN.
It’s not a part of the Europe economic area or the
European Union but became a member of the
Schengen region in 2009.
Currency : Swiss Franc
Switzerland is a Direct Democracy
President -Didier Burkhalter who
assumes administrative functions.
The Federal Council with a body of 7
members serves as a collective head
and the president gives a deciding
The President is elected by the
Federal Assembly from the Federal
Council for a term of one year.
(The tranquil lake)
Switzerland is one of the richest countries
with a nominal per capita GDP of $75,835
Zurich and Geneva have respectively been
ranked as the cities with the second and
third highest quality of life in the world
Switzerland comprises three main linguistic
and cultural regions: German, French, and
Italian, to which the Romansh-speaking
valleys are added.
The Swiss therefore do not form a nation in
the sense of a common ethnic or linguistic
Switzerland was formed towards the
end of 13th Century (1291) forming a
lose federation of states when they
refused to pay taxes to a ruthless
ruler and refused to live as slaves.
Swiss national day 1Aug since 1291
Fete nationale Suisse, Schweize
Geneva is the birth place of the Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement and the Geneva Conventions
Apart from the United Nations headquarters, the Swiss
Confederation is host to many UN agencies, like the World
Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour
Organization (ILO), the International Telecommunication
many sport federations and organisations are located
throughout the country, such as the International Basketball
Federation, in Geneva, the UEFA (Union of European
Football Associations), in Nyon, the FIFA (International
Federation of Association Football) and the International Ice
Hockey Federation, in Zurich, the International Cycling
Union, in Aigle, and the International Olympic Committee, in
Swiss culture is characterised by diversity, which is reflected in a wide range of
Switzerland is home to many notable contributors to literature, art, architecture, music
Folk art is kept alive in organisations all over the country. In Switzerland it is mostly
expressed in music, dance, poetry, wood carving and embroidery
some concentrated mountain areas have a strong highly energetic ski resort culture in
winter, and a hiking (wandering) or Mountain biking culture in summer. Other areas
throughout the year have a recreational culture that caters to tourism, yet the quieter
seasons are spring and autumn when there are fewer visitors
A traditional farmer and herder culture also predominates in many areas and small
farms are omnipresent outside the cities
.The alphorn, a trumpet-like musical instrument made of wood, has become alongside
yodeling and the accordion an epitome of traditional Swiss music
Skiing, snowboarding and
mountaineering are among the
most popular sports in
Many Swiss are fans of football
and the national team or 'Nati' is
Many Swiss also follow ice
Swiss players such as Martina
Hingis.In a seven-year span,
Roger Federer has won a record
16 Grand Slam singles titles
Traditional sports include Swiss
wrestling or "Schwingen".
Steinstossen is the Swiss
variant of stone put, a
competition in throwing a heavy
The cuisine of Switzerland is multi-faceted
Fondue is a Swiss and French dish of melted cheese served
in a communal pot, Raclette is both a type of cheese and a
Swiss and French dish based on heating the cheese and
scraping Rösti is a Swiss dish consisting mainly of
Chocolate had been made in Switzerland since the 18th
century. The Swiss are the world's largest consumers of
The most popular alcoholic drink in Switzerland is wine
Christianity is the predominant
religion of Switzerland, divided
between the Catholic Church
and various Protestant
There are also people who
follow Islam, Hinduism,
Surveys found 48% to be
theist, 39% expressing belief
in "a spirit or life force", 9%
atheist and 4% agnostic.
Greeley (2003) found that
27% of the population does
not believe in a God
The Bernese Oberland is the higher part of
the canton of Bern in the southern end of the
country and is situated in the hilly area known
as Bernese Alps
The flag of the Bernese Oberland consists of
a black eagle in a gold field over two fields in
the cantonal colours of red and black.
The Swiss German dialects spoken in the
The Oberland is one of five regions or
administrative subdivisions of the canton.
The Bernese Oberland is well known for
touristic reasons, including the following
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland
Situated in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône .
The canton is one of the driest regions of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley and among
the wettest, having large amounts of snow and rain up on the highest peaks found in
The canton of Valais is widely known for the Matterhorn and resort towns such as Saas
Fee, Verbier, and Zermatt.
It is composed of 13 districts (hence the 13 stars on the flag) and its capital is Sion.
The Matterhorn is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Swiss mountains. The resorts
on the north side of the main Rhône river valley are popular, looking out southwards towards
the Peninne Alps and still part of the southern slope of the Bernese Alps, such as the familyoriented resort of Crans-Montana. The resorts receive attention during the summer hiking
season and the winter ski season.
A small airport is located at Sion, but the main routes of transport are rail and road. Both
networks are extensive and benefit from tourism.
Many of the road passes are well known, such as the Grimsel Pass.
The longest land tunnel in the world, the Lötschberg Base Tunnel, is in operation since late
2007, connecting by rail.
Cars may be loaded onto the trains as freight. The old train line still carries traffic particularly
road traffic as freight, and has highly scenic sections in both cantons on either side of the old
tunnel through the dividing ridgeline
Because of the tourism there are many mountain railways and cable cars in the mountains.
The scenic rail route across the Furka Pass originates in the canton of Valais .
Lake Geneva region
The Lake Geneva region or Lemanic Region is the common name of the region of
Switzerland encompassing the cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Valais.
Lake Geneva, known in French as Lac Léman, is one of the largest lakes in western Europe. It lies on the
course of the Rhone river on the frontier between France and Switzerland.
Most towns on Lake Geneva are served by the boats of the Compagnie Génerale de navigation (CGN). As
well as modern boats, CGN operates five heritage paddle steamers build at the beginning of the 20th century.
On some routes, boats are the fastest mean of transport (between Lausanne and Evian, for example). On
most other routes though, boats are much slower than trains, but they often offer more scenic views.
Private boat tours and transfers from Geneva to any port on the lake is by Léman Transfers. Groups of up to 6
passengers can be privately chauffeured around the lak
is the largest canton in the French speaking part of Switzerland, and the third largest in the country as a
The geography is varied, with the Jura mountains in the north, a hilly plain in the center and in the southwest
the Alps. The main attractions of the region are the cities and towns surrounding the lake, the opportunities for
skiing and hiking in both mountain ranges, and of course the lake itself.
Aigle - a jumping off point for the Vaud Alps, with a very cool castle
Château d'Oex - the city of hot air balloons and Swiss scissor cuts
Coppet - medieval charm on the lake, very close to Geneva
Geneva - the largest City on the lake
Lausanne - like San Francisco, but more Swiss
Les Diablerets - ski/hiking resort town in the Vaud Alps
Leysin - hiking, skiing and international schools in the Vaud Alps
Montreux - the jewel of the Swiss Riviera
Nyon - a pleasant lake town with a high quote of expats
Vevey - Small city in the midst of the Swiss Riviera, headquarter of Nestlé
Villars-sur-Ollon - good ski resort for beginners and families
Lavaux - A terraced wine growing region
Named after the Ticino river, it is the only canton where Italian is the
sole official language and represents the bulk of the Italian-speaking
The city of Locarno is host to the Locarno International Film Festival,
Switzerland's most prestigious film festival.
Their mirror-like lakes, dotted by colourful villages with mansions and
palm trees, are framed by grand, verdant mountains. To the north,
the region's capital, Bellinzona is a quieter but stunning medieval
fortress town. Those in search of rural quiet have come to the right
place. Various valleys spread across the length of the northern half
of the canton, blessed by homely hamlets, Romanesque chapels and
endless hiking options past lakes and roaring mountain streams.
Locarno International film festival
Ascona- known sometimes as the Swiss Riviera.
Bellinzona - the capital of the canton.
Chiasso -the last town in Switzerland, is surrounded on three sides
Lugano- is the only real city in the canton, with a pleasant waterfront,
stunning lake views and steep hillsides.
The Swiss Plateau is about 30 percent area fraction next to the Jura and the Alps one of the
three major landscapes in Switzerland.
It includes the flat part, but largely hilly area between Jurazug and the Alps, and is on average at an
altitude of 400 to600 m above sea level.
It is most densely populated region of the country and thus their economy and transportation
The majority of the population in the Central Plateau is German, in the western part French is spoken.
Compared to the Alps, the Swiss plateau, especially rural areas, less focused on tourism.
Only the larger cities and their attractions, especially the towns of Berne and Lucerne, as well as
Zurich, St. Gallen, Fribourg, Solothurn, Geneva and Lausanne, pull on the city tourism.
As a natural attraction, the Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen, a special magnet for tourism from tourism
benefit also, the regions on Lake Geneva and the Three Lakes Region Lake Neuchâtel
, Biel and Murten, in which in 2002 the national exhibition Expo 02 had occurred.
For Baden , Bad Zurzach, Schinznach bath and Yverdon-les-Bains with its thermal baths of the spa
tourism also plays a significant role. Both an der Aare, Emme, Reuss and the Rhine play the cycling
and walking tourism increasingly important.
Fribourg (Freiburg) or ‘Free Town’, a medieval city where inhabitants on the
west bank of the Sarine river speak French, and those on the east bank of the
Sanne speak German. Throw Catholicism and a notable student population into
the cultural cocktail and you get a fascinating town with a feisty nightlife and a
healthy waft of originality.
Its greatest moment in history saw a messenger sprint from Murten to Fribourg
in 1476 to relay the glad tidings that the Swiss had defeated Charles the
Bold…only to drop dead with exhaustion on arrival. Onlookers, saddened by this
tragic twist, took the linden twig from the messenger’s hat and planted it.
Between the rich pasturelands of the Swiss plateau and the Alpine foothills, the
Sarine River (called the Saane by German speakers) twists in an S-curve, its
sandstone cliffs joined by webs of arching bridges. In one of the curves of the
river is the medieval city of Fribourg. The city grew in overlapping layers; it's an
astonishing place of hills and cobblestones, ramparts and Gothic fountains,
ancient passageways, and worn wooden stairs. Only on foot can you discover its
secret charm as one of the finer ensembles of medieval architecture in Europe.
Historic Fribourg is a stronghold of Catholicism; it remained staunchly Catholic
even during the Reformation. The evidence is everywhere, from the numerous
chapels and religious orders to the brown-robed novitiates walking the
sidewalks. Fribourg University, founded in 1889, remains the only Catholic
university in Switzerland. It is also the only bilingual institution of its kind and
reflects the region's peculiar linguistic agility. Two-thirds of the people of Canton
Fribourg are native French speakers, one-third are native German speakers,
and many switch easily between the two. In the Basse-Ville neighborhood, oldtimers still speak a unique mixture of the two languages, called Boltz. Officially,
the city is bilingual, although French predominates.
Neuchâtel Old French: neu(f) "new" + chatel "castle" (French: château) is
the on Lake Neuchâtel.
The city has large French-speaking population, although the city is sometimes
referred to historically by the German name Neuenburg, which has the same
meaning, since it originally belonged to the Holy Roman Empire and
later Prussia ruled the area until 1848.
Neuchâtel is a pilot of the Council of Europe and the European
Commission Intercultural cities programme.
There are 32 sites in Neuchâtel that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national
significance. The entire old city of Neuchâtel is part of the Inventory of Swiss
Churches: Abbey of Fontaine-André, Collegiate Church of Neuchâtel et
cénotaphe, Notre-Dame Church
Libraries and Museums: Bibliothèque des Pasteurs de Neuchâtel, Galeries de
l‘Histoire, Musée d‘art et d‘histoire de Neuchâtel, Musée d‘ethnographie, Musée
Public Buildings and Structures: Neuchâtel Castle and archives, Fountain of
Justice, Fountain at place de l‘Hôtel de Ville, Fountain at rue des Moulins,
Fountain at rue du Château, Banneret Fountain, Griffon Fountain, Lion Fountain,
Neubourg Fountain, City Fortification, Grande Rochette, City Hall, Hôtel Du
Peyrou, Cantonal Observatory at Rue de l‘Observatoire 52, Parc de la Petite
Rochette, Poste at Place Numa-Droz 2, Prison tower and former prison at Rue
The Jura Mountains are a sub-alpine mountain range located north of the western Alps, separating
the Rhine and Rhône rivers and forming part of the watershed of each. The range is predominantly
located in France and Switzerland, extending into Germany.
The Jura range offer a variety of tourist activities including hiking, cycling, skiing and cross-country
skiing. There are many signposted trails including the Jura ridgeway, a 310 km hiking route.
Tourist attractions include natural features such as the Creux du Van, lookout peaks such as
the Chasseral caves such as the Grottes de l'Orbe, and gorges such as Taubenloch.
Both Le Locle and its geographical twin town La Chaux-de-Fonds are recognized as an
UNESCO World Heritage Site for their horologicaland related cultural past.
The 11th-century Fort de Joux, famously remodeled and strengthened by Vauban in 1690 and
subsequently by other military engineers, is situated on a natural rock outcropping in the middle of the
range not far from Pontarlier.
Part of the A40 autoroute crosses through a spectacular portion of the southern Jura between Bourgen-Bresse and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, which is known as the "Highway of the Titans."
Bernese Jura is the name for the French-speaking area of
the Swiss canton of Bern, and from 2010 one of five
administrative divisions of the canton.
More than 90% of the population of the three districts speak
The Bernese Jura of today comprises only three out of a total
of seven districts which were known as the Bernese Jura
during the period of 1815–1979. Of the remaining four, three
seceded as the canton of Jura in 1979, while the fourth,
the Laufen district, joined the canton of Basel-Landschaft in
The seven wonders
The Castle of Chillon: near Montreux
The Lavaux vineyards: on the shore of Lake Geneva
The Castles of Bellinzona: in the southern canton of Ticino
The Abbey of St. Gallen
The Top of Europe and the Sphinx observatory: a "village" with a post office on the
3,500 metres high Jungfraujoch above Wengen
The Grande Dixence: a 285 metres high dam, south of Sion
The Landwasser viaduct: on the railway between Chur and St. Moritz
The seven natural wonders
The Matterhorn: from Schwarzsee, Gornergrat or simply from the village of Zermatt
The northern walls of the Jungfrau and Eiger: two of the most celebrated mountains
in the Alps, they can be seen from the valley of Lauterbrunnen or from one of the many
summits that can be reached by train or cable car
The Aletsch Glacier: the longest in Europe, the Aletsch wild Forest is located above
the glacier, best seen from above Bettmeralp
The lakes of the Upper Engadine: one of the highest inhabited valley in the Alps at
the foot of Piz Bernina, they can be all seen from Muottas Muragl
The Lake Lucerne: from the Pilatus above Lucerne
The Oeschinensee: a mountain lake with no rivals above Kandersteg
The Rhine Falls: the largest in Europe, take a boat to the rock in the middle of the falls
The European Football Championships in 2008 was held in Austria and
Switzerland. Basel, Berne, Geneva and Zurich were all hosting sites.
"Swiss-made": Souvenirs and Luxury Goods
Switzerland is famous for a few key goods: watches, chocolate, cheese, and
Swiss Army knives
Watches - Switzerland is the watch-making capital of the world, and "Swiss Made" on
a watch face has long been a mark of quality. While the French-speaking regions of
Switzerland are usually associated with Swiss watchmakers (like Rolex, Omega, and
Chocolate - Switzerland may always have a rivalry with Belgium for the world's best
chocolate, but there's no doubting that the Swiss variety is amazingly good.
Switzerland is also home to the huge Nestlé food company. If you have a fine palate
(and a fat wallet) - you can find two of the finest Swiss chocolatiers
in Zurich:Teuscher (try the champagne truffles) and Sprüngli. It is possible to get them
as low as half the supermarket price by going to the Lindt factory store in Kilchberg
Cheese - many different regions of Switzerland have their own regional cheese
speciality. Of these, the most well-known are Gruyère and Emmentaler (what
Americans know as "Swiss cheese“
Swiss Army knives - Switzerland is the official home of the Swiss Army Knife. There
are two brands Victorinox and Wenger
Montreux Jazz Festival
At the foot of the Alps on the banks of
Lake Geneva, the Montreux Jazz
Festival delights and entertains
thousands of jazz fans with sixteen
days of outdoor and indoor concerts
by over 250 jazz bands.
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