One of the most beautiful and picturesque countries in the world, Switzerland has been the dream destination of many tourists since decades and is also known as the birth place of the ‘Red Cross’. Located in Central Europe, to the East of France and North of Italy, the country stands seeped in natural splendor. So mesmerizing is the beauty of Switzerland that it has become a favored shooting location amongst film makers, especially Indian. From snow-clad Alps and serene lakes to rustic countryside and mystical castles, the country offers its visitors a diversified and enchanting experience. Also known as the Swiss Confederation, the capital of this picturesque country is Bern and the largest city is Zurich, landlocked between the Swiss Plateau and the Jura. If these facts have enthralled you and you are looking for more, , we have provided a number of fun and interesting facts about Switzerland below, to help you know the country better.
Image: By Eric Hill (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Area: 41,285 km2
Currency: Swiss Frank
Dialing Code: 41
Official Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh
Type Of Government: Federation, Federal republic, Direct democracy
Interesting Facts About Switzerland
- The official name of Switzerland is ‘Switzerland and Confoederatio Helvetica’.
- Switzerland was founded in 1291, as a union of three cantons chafing against Habsburg rule, and became independent in 1815.
- There are a large number of mountains and lakes in the country.
- Swiss system of government has been based on the US Constitution.
- 100,000 Swiss can make the demand, via referendum, for the revision of the Constitution.
- In Switzerland, a new president is elected every year, while seven members of the Swiss Federal Council (Executive branch) are elected every four years.
- There are four official languages in Switzerland, namely German, French, Italian, and Romansh.
- A new constitution was formed in Switzerland in 1999, when the Swiss voted in favor of it.
- Geneva is the seat of the European headquarters of United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), World Economic Forum (WEF), Airports Council International (ACI), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) & World Wide Web Virtual Library.
- In Switzerland, people are either Roman Catholics or Protestants.
- Some of renowned luxury watch brands, like Audemars Piguet, Baume et Mercier, Breitling, Chopard, Franck Muller, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Rado, Rolex, TAG Heuer, Tissot, Vacheron Constantin, are Swiss.
- Switzerland has the second highest employment rate in the OECD, after Iceland.
- Switzerland has the second highest life expectancy in Europe, after Sweden.
- Switzerland is located in Central Europe and is spread over an area of approximately 41285 sq. km.
- Switzerland is the first and only country to implement people's rights system of government, also called direct democracy, involving the constitutional initiative (public petitions) and referendum.
- Just like France, the most popular accompaniment/drink with food is wine.
- Switzerland joined the United Nations in 2002 and the Schengen Agreement in 2005.
- Tobacco consumption is widespread in this country and also holds the record of one of the highest cannabis consumption in the world, along with a few parts of Europe and North America.
- The capital of Switzerland is Berne and its currency is Swiss Francs.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was founded in 1863 in Geneva only and it is still based there.
- The Jura, the Plateau and the Alps form the three main geographic regions of Switzerland.
- There are 26 cantons in Switzerland. Each one of them acts as a separate state and has its own constitution, legislature, government and courts.
- Zurich, Basle, Geneva, Berne and Lausanne are the five major cities of Switzerland.
- Switzerland is home to more than 1500 lakes.
- Switzerland is widely recognized as an international research center, which strongly promotes technology and science.
- Alphorn and Yodeling are often associated with Swiss music.
- Switzerland has 48 peaks above 13000 feet
- Motorway signs in Switzerland are green.
- The most common Swiss surname is Müller.
- Switzerland has 63,577km of walking paths.
- Switzerland borders 5 other countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein.
- Lac leman (Lake Geneva) is the lagest land locked lake in Western Europe.
- In Switzerland you are never more than 13 miles from a lake or river in which you can swim.
- The longest Glacier in the Alps, the Aletsch glacier, can be found in Switzerland: it is more than 14 miles long and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The largest edible chestnut forest in the Alps is in Malcantone near Lugano, Switzerland.
- Jungfraujoch, at an elevation of 11330 feet is the highest train station in Europe.
- Grande Dixence in Switzerland is the highest man-made cement dam in the world, with a height of 935 feet.
- Switzerland has the densest railway system in the world with 3107 miles of tracks.