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About Switzerland

Switzerland is an exhilarating place to spend your vacation. The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity. Along with its attractiveness as one of Europe's main tourist destination, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, the watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public transport.

Switzerland's independence and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and Switzerland was not involved in either of the two World Wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations, but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.

Geography
Switzerland takes up an area of 41,295 square kilometers and is home to 7.4 million people. More than 60 percent of the country is mountainous and a quarter of it is covered with forests. Our country boasts breathtaking mountains, picturesque lakes and charming cities and towns that are full of culture and history. Switzerland is landlocked and situated on the crossroads of northern and southern Europe. Along with southeastern France and northern Italy, Switzerland contains the highest elevations in Europe.

People
The renowned Swiss obsessiveness with cleanliness, punctuality and hard work, coupled with the highest standard of living in Europe, make Switzerland one of the most desirable and least problematic of countries in which to travel. The tourist infrastructure is highly developed, and the Swiss themselves are unfailingly courteous and proud of the beauty of Switzerland. Together with a longstanding tourist tradition, you will leave Switzerland with lasting memories of a great vacation. Most Swiss speak English, and at least one of the other Swiss languages - French, German, Italian, or, in the extreme southeast, Romansch.

There is a lot of untouched nature and in general people are careful with it with many efforts being undertaken to protecting the environment. As a result, Switzerland is far advanced in recycling waste material. Chemicals, paper, carton, glass, plastic, cans, textile, oil and cooking fat are all collected separately. For most tourists, our recycling measures are relatively drastic. However, you will get used to it quickly and the advantages are clear: Switzerland is a very clean country. You will not find a lot of street litter along your way.

Government
The capital of Switzerland is Berne. The Swiss Confederation (conventional name of Switzerland) is a federal republic divided into Executive, Legislative and Judicial branch. The country is split into 26 administrative ivisions (cantons). The Swiss Confederation was found on August 1, 1291 and the Swiss celebrate this 1 of August as their National holiday.

Interesting Links

Intl. Airports



Swiss Government



Swiss Roots

Swiss News







Swiss Radio

Escorted Grand Train Tour of Switzerland

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Swiss Flag - Schweizer Fahne

Region:
Central Europe

Coordinates:
47 00 N, 8 00 E

Population: 7,400,000
Area Total: 41,290 sq km
Area Land: 39,770 sq km
Area Water: 1,520 sq km
Boundaries: 1,852 km

Climate:
January 0°C / 32°F
July 18.5°C / 65°F

Annual Rainfall:
1000.76 mm / 39.4 in

Currency:
1 Swiss Franc (CHF)
= 100 centimes

~ $1 = CHF 1.06
(January 2008)

National Holiday:
August 1st

Capital: Berne

Major Cities:
Zurich, Geneva, Basel,
Lucerne, Lugano, Lausanne

Bordering Countries:
Germany, France, Italy,
Austria, Liechtenstein

Languages:
German, French, Italian, Romansch

Ethnic Divisions:
German 65 %
French 18 %
Italian 10 %
Romansch 1 %
Other 6 %

Religions:
Catholic 46 %
Protestant 40 %
None 9 %, Other 5 %

Lowest Point:
Lake Maggiore 195 m

Highest Point:
Dufourspitze 4,634 m