(German die Schweiz, french la Suisse, ital Svizzera, rom Svizra), the official name of the Swiss Confederation (German Schweizerische Eclassgenossenschaft, fr Confederation suisse, italian Confederazione Svizzera, rom Confederaziun svizra) Title comes from the name of the canton Schwyz, formed from the ancient German “burn.” The state has no access to the sea. The capital of Switzerland is the city of Bern. The largest city in this country is Zurich, the center of the canton with the same name.
Switzerland is located in Central Europe and borders on Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy. Switzerland is a federal republic, in 1999 a new Constitution was adopted. The country is divided into twenty-three cantons. Many important issues are under the jurisdiction of the federal authorities. The bicameral parliament is the supreme legislative body in Switzerland. The president is the head of state.
There are several official languages in Switzerland: German, Italian, French Romance. As for the latter, it is recognized as official only for communicating with the bearers of this language. The monetary unit of Switzerland is the Swiss franc. Catholics are approximately 48% of the total population of the country, 46% consider themselves Protestants, and another 6% profess other religions. The main river in Switzerland is the Rhine. From Moscow time in Switzerland is two hours behind.
Most of Switzerland is covered with mountains.
The territory of Switzerland is divided into 3 natural regions. These are the mountains of Jura (in the north of the country), the Alps (in the south) and the Swiss plateau (in the center of the state). It is interesting that only the Alps (mountainous territory) occupy more than 60% of the country’s territory.
Switzerland has a continental climate.
True, in accordance with the different altitudes above sea level, it is characterized by considerable fluctuations. The average winter temperature in the valleys of Switzerland tends to zero, and in mountainous regions it can reach – 10 ° C or lower. The average summer temperature in the valleys is approximately + 18-20 ° C, in mountainous areas slightly lower. A fairly large proportion of precipitation falls in the form of snow – in the winter season. In the Alps – at an altitude of 1.5 thousand meters or more – precipitation in the form of snowy groves is characteristic even in May-June. The unusuality of the climate of Switzerland is that each region of this country can boast only its peculiar landscape and climate. Surprisingly, one can say that in Switzerland the Arctic lives next door to the tropics. In this country grow like mosses and lichens, and mimosas and palms.
The history of Switzerland dates back to the thirteenth century.
Or rather, at the end of this century – in 1291. It was then that the cantons Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden combined their efforts to fight the Habsburgs. “Union for all time” was intended to counter the aspirations of the Habsburgs to fully control the approaches to the Gotthard Pass. The latter was the most important land route of Europe in the Middle Ages. By the way, the name of the country – Switzerland – comes from the name of one of the cantons that concluded the above union: from the canton Schwyz. A little later – in the following years – neighboring lands were added to the union. Some entered into its composition voluntarily, some were forced. The first Constitution of Switzerland was adopted in 1848. She declared Switzerland a federal state. Once again it was confirmed in the Constitution of Switzerland in 1874.
Switzerland is a truly amazing country.
Occupying such a small territory (its area is only 4,123.2 square kilometers, which roughly corresponds to the ninth part from the area of Germany), Switzerland absorbed all the most attractive: stunning natural masterpieces and no less amazing creations of human hands. In this state, the traces of different civilizations, their cultural and historical heritage, perfectly coexist. For example, an amphitheater for ten thousand visitors will remind the tourist about the Romans.In the Swiss cities of Lausanne, Geneva, Basel and some others, the tourist will discover Gothic and Romanesque monuments of architecture. A large number of pilgrims from around the world collects the fortress of Castello di Montebello, which has survived to our days, which dates back to the Renaissance. The churches of Arlesheim, Kreuzlingen, as well as the monasteries Engelberg and Einsiedeln are presented in the Baroque style. A lot of interesting things can be found in this country by an inquisitive tourist.
Switzerland is rich in attractions.
In this regard, it is very interesting to get acquainted with the city of Schaffhausen. Its architectural appearance is mainly represented by the style of rococo and baroque. Until now, many ancient buildings have survived, which date back to the late Gothic times. The same city is proud of its ancient fortress Mjuno. To it you can climb a beautiful path, paved with stones. Switzerland is famous for the city of St. Gallen, which is the center of Eastern Switzerland. This city appeared thanks to the Irish monk Gallus. Legend has it that when the construction of St. Gallen monk helped the monk bear. The latter became a symbol of the city – its image is imprinted on the coat of arms of St. Gallen. Architectural monuments (made in the Baroque style) are the famous cathedral of this city and the monastery library.
The image of the medieval city is Lucerne. This city is the main city of Central Switzerland. Since 1400 stands in Lucerne the fortification wall Musegmauer, a total length of 870 meters. The same city is famous for the first in the history of the country a significant construction of the Baroque period – Jesuitenkirche. History lovers can visit the museums of Switzerland, which have an incredible number of 600. The most famous and frequented are the Swiss Historical Museum, which is located in the city of Zurich, as well as the art museums of Zurich, Geneva, Bern and Basel.
Switzerland boasts a wealth of natural attractions.
A tourist who travels to Eastern Switzerland will have the opportunity to see the extraordinary beautiful Rhine Falls. This waterfall is one of the most enchanting beauties of Switzerland. The average water flow of the Rhine Falls is 1100 m3 per second. Schaffhausen is a city in the immediate vicinity of this waterfall.
Eastern Switzerland is rich in colorful flower carpets. This is a beautiful alpine rose, saxifrage, edelweiss and others. Flowers of perennial bushes and grasses are distinguished by their bright coloration, they (like the plants themselves) are fragrant.
Central Switzerland is proud of its mountain Pilatus. Its height is 2120 meters. It is not far – only ten kilometers – from Lucerne. The city itself, surrounded by mountains, was sheltered by the Firvaldshtetsky Lake.
Western Switzerland will amaze the tourist with a famous mountain miracle that has become a symbol of the whole country. It is about the Matterhorn mountain, whose height reaches 4,478 meters. This mountain is shaped like a pyramid. Matterhorn mountain was chosen by many mountaineers.
Canton Wallis, which is a deep valley (depth – 130 kilometers), is another natural masterpiece of Western Switzerland. The beautiful valley is among the alpine alpine chain.
Switzerland has many lakes famous for the whole world. One of them is the famous Lake Geneva. Next to it is the city of Lausanne. It is also remarkable because it combines the colors of antiquity and modernity. The narrow streets of the historical center merge organically with the modernly arranged neighborhoods. In addition to the wonderful views of Lake Geneva, locals and holidaymakers can contemplate the mountain ranges of the Alps.
Switzerland is attractive for backpackers.
In this country lovers of extreme relaxation will feel comfortable due to the remarkable arrangement of descents. In Switzerland, there are approximately 140 ski centers. Many of them are ranked among the best ski resorts in the world. Here are some of them: Saas-Fe, Zermatt, San Moritz, Davos, Villars, Grindelwald and others.The resort of Saas-Fee is called the “pearl of the Alps”. This is one of the most high-altitude resorts of the state. The city of Saas-Fee is surrounded by quaint mountains, which are covered with glaciers. Natural beauties give this city an unusual flavor. And since Saas-Fee is a fairly young ski resort of the country, the cost of living here is relatively small. Zermatt is a prestigious resort in Switzerland. The city is located at the very foot of the famous Matterhorn mountain. It is also interesting that the only modes of transport in this resort are horse-drawn carts and electric cars. So Zermatt has been released from the mass congestion of cars.
Switzerland is famous for its rich cultural life.
She, in fact, is very diverse. Absolutely each of the major cities of this country can boast of its own theater and symphony orchestra. Popular is the Opera House in Zurich, the Basel City Theater, as well as the Grand Theater in Geneva.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world.
Switzerland belongs to the highly developed industrial states of the world. Agriculture in this country is highly productive. The competitiveness of the Swiss economy allows us to include this country in the top ten countries of the world in this indicator. This state is economically closely connected with the countries of the European Union (they account for 80 to 85% of the total turnover) and the rest of the outside world.
Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world.
This country is one of the most important financial and banking centers in the world. In Switzerland there are about four thousand financial institutions. The bulk of the country’s population lives well. After all, this state in the economy focuses not on the export of raw materials, but on the production of high-tech products. Switzerland is famous for its highly educated specialists. Statistics show that the average annual income of one Swiss citizen is 38 380 $.
Switzerland gives an excellent education.
Behind this country the glory of the leading role in the system of international education was fixed. In private schools in Switzerland about 100,000 pupils and students from the country and many other countries are being trained. After receiving higher education in Switzerland’s universities, a significant proportion of graduates successfully work in the chosen specialty.
Switzerland is a country with impeccable service.
And with this reputation Switzerland is proud and cherishes it. Even the most simple cafe or bar is characterized by impeccable cleanliness. The visitor will certainly feel comfortable here, he will really be surrounded by warmth. In Switzerland, there are many different sports complexes and equipped recreation centers. With Swiss precision (as in the famous clock) arrive at the train stations, people come to meetings. And climb to the top of the mountains (which in Switzerland is more than enough) will not provide any effort. After all, Switzerland has modern mining engineering technology. So the tourist will only have to enjoy the view that he will open from the highest mountains. The spirit will capture – that’s for sure!
Swiss cuisine has many of its delicacies.
It is recognized by gourmets all over the world. Especially popular is the Swiss chocolate. It is one of the pride items of this small state. Swiss chocolate goes to other countries under the motto “Made in Switzerland”. Interesting is the fact that Switzerland has the largest consumption of chocolate per capita. It is more than Russian four times and is twelve kilograms a year. The Swiss know a lot about chocolate. The Swiss desserts “hühli” and “vremeni” are also famous all over the world.
In general, Swiss cuisine has absorbed the culinary traditions of many peoples living in Switzerland. These are Italian, French, German traditions. Swiss cuisine is characterized by an abundance of sour-milk products and cheese. Meat and various seasonings are of great importance here.The dish “bernes platter” is very popular. It is fried pieces of pork and beef seasoned with sour cabbage or green beans. From him the dish of “lyurah lechnettseltes” does not lag behind. It is based on thinly sliced veal pieces in sauce.
Switzerland is famous for the production of cheese.
The variety of this product in Switzerland is simply amazing. But there is a reasonable explanation for this. The fact is that the traditions of cheese production in this state have a long history. The technology of production of each type of cheese has long been passed on from generation to generation; the quality was improved. A distinguishing feature of cheeses produced in Switzerland is the fact that each of the types of cheese is sold under its own brand. In most cases, this trademark has a name associated with the place of origin. The most famous cheeses are Emmental, Appenzell, Gruyer, Tet de Muan, Tilsit, Sbrints and others. Most Swiss cheeses are solid or semi-solid. This is due to the long Swiss winters, which are accompanied by the difficulty of communication between the cantons (due to the abundance of fallen snow).
The Swiss have a special relationship to cheese.
Someone likes hard, someone is semi-hard, and somebody is soft. On a festive (or simply ordinary) table, one family will have cheese, cut into thin slices, the other – made in the form of flowers, and the third – cut into cubes. Even the most traditional dish in Switzerland is “chiz fondue”. It is a “Gruyer” or “Emmental” cheese, which is melted in white wine and seasoned with spices. Serve such a popular dish in a hot form with pieces of white bread. The latter are dipped in cheese. Raccolette is another Swiss dish, which is very popular. The basis of this dish is roasted cheese. It is served with potatoes and cucumbers.
Swiss watches are known all over the world.
Swiss watches are famous for their quality. Wrist Swiss watches are both a clever mechanism, and, in many cases, jewelry. Accuracy and beauty are organically combined in them with each other. Exclusive models are made only to order.
Switzerland consists of customs and traditions.
At least, this impression is formed after visiting this state. Many traditions have a local character. For example, in the north-eastern part of Switzerland, there is a tradition to celebrate the New Year and the “old New Year”, and quite unusual. On the night of the old New Year in the village fields it is easy to find wandering people with rather bizarre structures on their heads. Among them are respectable people who have earned a good reputation. But what can you do with the tradition?
The Swiss calendar is the rhythm of life.
It’s not just 365 or 366 days a year. This is 365 or 366 days a year, behind each of which is fixed either an event (important or not), or a function. For example, the month of February. A month rich in snow. In schools, a two-week “sports vacation” begins; many Swiss people get on skis. For February, the following events are typical: carnival, carnival, the eve of the great post. In the Shrovetide week, you can see the Swiss not only in masks, but also dressed “somehow”. However, the latter can not be discussed. Celebrations, celebrations, games and the like decorate this week and unique colors. In the week of carnival, it is simply not allowed to sleep for a long time. Rise – 5 o’clock in the morning. If you do not get up yourself, someone will come and wake up: it’s not allowed, it’s not allowed. All this ceremony is accompanied by noise.
It is noteworthy Swiss holiday “zeksiljute”, which is celebrated in Zurich. The first half of the day the working population spends on workplaces, but the second – crowds of people spend on the streets of the city. This holiday is celebrated on one of Mondays and is associated with an increase in the duration of the day. During the festivities, paper figures of snowmen are burned in the squares.
In the summer months, none of the settlements in Switzerland can not do without holidays. Celebrations are often to some extent connected with the harvest. But Christmas refers to the holidays calm. The family gathers at home and spends the evening at the festive table. It is not supposed to make noise and exquisitely dress up.
Swiss folk music has not received worldwide distribution.
The musical folklore of this country is basically a style of “hudigegeller”. His melodies are most often performed by a trio using double bass, clarinet and accordion. Interestingly, the fact that the genre of “hudygegeller” is represented by only three melodies. But this does not bother the Swiss themselves. After all, this music is national, not foreign, not foreign.
The Swiss people are hospitable.
And still very quiet, hardworking, honoring the traditions and laws of his country. Therefore, when traveling to Switzerland, a tourist should remember that he is a guest in this country, and not a host.