... Destination 360 is your friendly travel guide. Switzerland’s cities have emerged as international centres of industry and commerce connected to the larger world, a very different tenor from Switzerland’s isolated, more inward-looking past. Switzerland history is full of interesting facts, and one could study it for years if they were so inclined. Economic development and high population density have caused severe environmental stress, resulting in pollution and debates over the use of natural resources. One of the oldest countries in the world, Switzerland is home to a diverse set of cantons with long and rich histories of autonomy. The average salary of a teacher in Switzerland in 2010 was $112000 per year. Learn some interesting information about Switzerland while enjoying a range of fun facts and trivia that's perfect for kids! Most Swiss live in towns and cities, not in the idyllic rural landscapes that captivated the world through Johanna Spyri’s Heidi (1880–81), the country’s best-known literary work. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? It doesn’t make it to the news very often, and to be honest, Swiss news is usually the opposite of exciting. 11 Interesting Facts About Switzerland: The Swiss Confederation dates to 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. Switzerland’s resident population has grown from 3.3 million in 1900 to 8.3 million in 2017. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. For travelers, visiting some of the country's historical attractions is one of the best ways to embrace Swiss history. Share 741. Need suggestions on Rhine Falls Coach Tour from Zurich in coming August for 3-4 days. Many of the people who inhabited modern-day Switzerland in the early years didn't establish permanent settlements. Wedged neatly between Germany, Austria, France, and Italy, Switzerland melds the best of whole worlds and adds a healthy … Don’t be surprised if you want to pack your bags and move out to Switzerland after reading these. The Congress of Vienna set the borders of Switzerland as they are known today in the year of 1814. Switzerland is a country that is busting at the seams with alpine lakes, dramatic cliff faces mountains, modern cities, flower-filled meadows, charming villages, fresh air, alphorns, and free-roaming dairy cows it’s easy to see the allure. For example, air-pollution emissions in Switzerland are among the lowest in industrialized countries. In terms of interesting facts about Switzerland, it is worth noting that the Romans conquered the various tribes that had taken up residence in the country in and around 15 BC. Switzerland is regularly judged to have among the world’s highest standards of living. We group of 10 are planning a trip to Switzerland, and especially need hiking & sightsee... hello! The largest lake in the country, Lake Geneva, is shared between Switzerland and France. Thanks! Much of the territory covered by present-day Switzerland is mountainous. Switzerland was originally called Helvetia by Julius Caesar when he conquered the Helvetii, a group of Celtic tribes, who lived in the area between the Alps and the Jura Mountains. 20 Interesting Facts About Switzerland Country of little Mountains and efficiency, Switzerland is one of Europe’s most appealing destinations. 10. Bern is a placid city whose name derives from the bear pits the canton’s medieval rulers established there as a heraldic symbol; the bear pits are now part of the city’s popular zoo. Swiss History Comprehensive site about Swiss history from Prehistory to the 20th Century by swissworld.org. It was canned pretty quickly and that’s probably for the best. In Oct. 2003, Switzerland took a turn to the right when the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP) had the strongest showing in parliamentary elections, garnering 28% of the vote. 33. Before Switzerland joined the United Nations, it became a center for the Protestant Reformation, which led to numerous wars, such as the Battles of Villmergen, which took place in 1656 and 1712. Switzerland remains wealthy and orderly, but its mountain-walled valleys are far more likely to echo the music of a local rock band than a yodel or an alphorn. Switzerland calls itself Eidgenossenschaft (Society of the Oath) after the word Eidgenossen (Oath Fellowship), which recalls the pact signed by three lords in 1291, marking the birth of the Swiss nation. Engadine is one of the top attractions for tourists visiting Switzerland. The Roman colonization of Swiss lands would last up until 455 AD, which is when the Barbarians decided to invade. Switzerland is a land of Lakes. In the late 1800s, tourism really started to take off in Switzerland, and the rest of the world started taking notice of how beautiful the country is. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. » 5 Interesting Facts About Switzerland: An Inside Look of the Swiss Lifestyle Alpine mountains, cheeses, chocolates and watches… as far as one can tell, these are what Switzerland is best known for; but for sure, there are a myriad of other fascinating things that … Like all of the countries in Europe, Switzerland has been home to human activity for more than 100,000 years. 1-5 Interesting Facts About Switzerland. 2. Switzerland’s Gotthard Tunnel Is the Longest in the World . Here are some facts about Switzerland: The Museumstrasse is rich in culture and this is where you will find the Swiss National Museum (Schweizerisches Landesmuseum), the country's largest history museum. Explore the history of Switzerland below. What country has the largest Muslim population? Switzerland is the first and only country to implement a system of government based on the people's administration, also known as direct democracy, which involves the constitutional initiative (public petitions) and the referendum. It is also one of the most expensive places in the world and an ideal destination to indulge in luxuries. Switzerland has the highest number of gun holders in industrialized countries. As for the Munster, it is a fifteenth-century Gothic cathedral that is noted for its complete main portal, its soaring tower, and its valuable stained-glass windows. Switzerland’s first national flag (technically for the Helvetic Republic) was cooked up by Napoleon (it was a tricolour of green red and yellow) and didn’t outlast the Emperor. Switzerland Facts for Kids. To this day, Switzerland maintains a neutral stance in terms of world affairs. Invisible lines separate historically Protestant from historically Roman Catholic districts, while the tall mountains of the Saint Gotthard Pass separate northern from southern Europe and their diverse sensibilities and habits. Most of the Switzerland’s sites fall under the Jurisdiction of Zurich Administration. Updates? 8. 53. Switzerland is a small mountainous country located in central Europe. Schelbert, Leo. A very civil war. More to Switzerland Than Meets the Eye. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Tweet. – Source. Wikipedia: History of Switzerland Switzerland is a mountainous destination that we have all heard and dreamed about. The Swiss refused to fight alongside the French troops of Napolean once the Russian and Austrian forces arrived, however, and Swiss autonomy was reestablished shortly thereafter. The Swiss Confederation during the Late Middle Ages, https://www.britannica.com/place/Switzerland, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Switzerland, Switzerland - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Switzerland - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). 1. presence switzerland - its mission is to convey knowledge about Switzerland, to create understanding and empathy for our country and to highlight its diversity and attractiveness. Today, the sport is … Everyone recognizes Switzerland as the land of mountains, cheese and happy people. People living in close proximity may speak markedly distinct, sometimes nearly mutually unintelligible dialects of their first language, if not a different language altogether. Switzerland Facts 10 Geo Superlatives. Switzerland’s Gotthard tunnel is the longest in the world measuring 57km in length (it is 7km longer than the Channel Tunnel between England and France). Today, there are almost 2 million resident foreigners in Switzerland. 34. Sort out the random interesting facts about countries around the world. Switzerland is one of those two countries whose national flag is square, the flag of Vatican apart from Switzerland is also square. And Switzerland is indeed a major economic power, thanks to its long tradition of financial services and high-quality, specialized manufactures of items such as precision timepieces, optics, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, as well as of specialty foodstuffs such as Emmentaler cheese and milk chocolate. Omissions? Independent historian and newspaper columnist. The Bern Historical Museum is a good place to learn about the capital, and most of the other cities and towns in the country offers their own history museums. Aside from its mythical origins, (Charlemagne’s horse is said to have tripped over the tomb of Zurich’s patron saints) the church is where the Protestant reformation in Switzerland began, a momentous moment that rocked the entire country and shaped it for years to come. Now, download our e-book with 77 interesting facts about Switzerland: $2.49 – Download e-book Checkout. It’s officially named the Swiss Confederation for historical reasons, although modern Switzerland is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the federal city. Basel and Lucerne are major German-speaking cities, Geneva and Lausanne the centres of the country’s French-speaking cantons, and Bellinzona and Lugano the principal cities in the Italian-speaking Ticino. Which country claims "Waltzing Matilda" as their unofficial anthem? The glacier is about 23 km/ 14 miles but shrinking every year. German, French, Italian, and Romansh all enjoy national status, and English is spoken widely. Everybody knows about the famous Swiss chocolate, cheese and watches. Some of them you already know about. These sites are in UNESCO world heritage site list. 52. Switzerland is unique for having enough nuclear fallout shelters to accommodate its entire human population. The Swiss Aletsch Glacier is the longest glacier in Europe. It is exotic, has great cuisine, thousands of museums, friendly and passionate people and more. Interlaken History Facts and Timeline (Interlaken, Berne, Switzerland) Settlements were first present around Interlaken as long ago as the late Stone Age and the Bronze Age, with artefacts from Neolithic times being discovered here in recent years, along with some coins from the days of the Romans. There’s a lot more unique things about this country, though. © Plus, you will surely be surprised by this latest batch of facts about Switzerland. Switzerland is bordered to the west by France, to the north by Germany, to the east by Austria and Liechtenstein, and to the south by Italy. People celebrate by opening open air markets and eating chestnuts cooked in various ways. Another good way to gain insight into the history of Switzerland is to visit some museums while in the country. All Rights Reserved The country has not gone to war since 1815, and interestingly enough, it was one of the last countries to join the United Nations. It was none other than Charlemagne who eventually conquered the various cantons in Switzerland, and he did so in 843. Some of the most interesting facts associated with this fascinating country have been mentioned below. Looking for some facts about Switzerland? Switzerland is a small and modest country. Having 2 days weekend break in my business trip at Lucerne, so ... Hi there, During the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries, the Swiss territory became part of the Frankish Empire. Looking at the historical facts about Switzerland, how often this country changed hands starts to stand out. Swiss Infodesk is an annotated link directory of selected online information about Switzerland… Switzerland has the highest mountains in Europe. It took 17 years to complete it. View Images. Switzerland was formed in 1291 by an alliance of cantons against the Habsburg dynasty—the Confoederatio Helvetica (or Swiss Confederation), from which the abbreviation CH for Switzerland derives—though only in 1848, when a new constitution was adopted, was the present nation formed. The lake promenade, the bustling Bahnhofstrasse shopping street and the city's historical Zoological Gardens should all be experienced. 3. In Switzerland, it is illegal to deny that the holocaust happened. Switzerland’s landscape is among the world’s most unusual, and it has long had to contend with a variety of environmental problems that threaten its integrity. It celebrates the importance of chestnuts in historical Switzerland. That high level of citizen involvement prompted the renowned 20th-century Swiss playwright and ironist Friedrich Dürrenmatt to allegorize Switzerland as a prison in which each Swiss citizen was at the same time prisoner and guard. Photograph … As far as the first farming settlements are concerned, the earliest known examples date back to around 5300 BC. In the early sixteenth century, what amounts to a civil war of sorts broke out in Switzerland due to some of the agreements between the alliance and France. The area flourished under Roman rule with roads being built between major cities allowing for trade and commerce to grow. The Swiss Sonderbund War of 1847. For many outsiders, Switzerland also evokes a prosperous if rather staid and unexciting society, an image that is now dated. I greatly appreciate this diversity. Hornussen is a traditional sport played in Switzerland that is a mixture between golf and hockey. 18. source: wikipedia, image: img7.arrivo.ru. For this reason, the Alpine passes have played a significant role in the development of the country, as have the powers that sought to control these important communication and trade routes. Switzerland’s small size—its total area is about half that of Scotland—and its modest population give little indication of its international significance. 2021 Despite this, the crime rate in Switzerland is the lowest in the industrialized countries. The lands that we know as Switzerland today fell into the hands of the Houses of Savoy and the Hapsburgs, among other ruling factions. There aren't a lot of historical attractions that date back to the Roman days in Switzerland, though visitors can visit some interesting ruins that offer insight into early Swiss history. This was the year that the alliance decided to declare their neutrality. Prior to 1848, internal conflict was quite common, but Switzerland has enjoyed relative domestic tranquility since the mid-19th century, and its organization has remained essentially the same: it is a union of more than 3,000 communes, or municipalities, situated in 26 cantons, 6 of which are traditionally referred to as demicantons (half cantons) but function as full cantons. Top. One of the more interesting dates in Swiss history is 1516. The Swiss justifiably take great pride in this, and the point was encapsulated in the early 21st century by Ruth Dreifuss, who in 1999 became the country’s first woman and first Jewish president (a post that rotates annually): I may be a native speaker of French, but my parents originally came from German-speaking Switzerland and I myself worked in an Italian-speaking area for a while and enjoy travelling to all parts of the country…. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. 15 Fun Facts about Switzerland. Aspects of both have become bywords for the country, whose very name conjures images of the glacier-carved Alps beloved of writers, artists, photographers, and outdoor sports enthusiasts from around the world. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Two effects of this popular involvement are evident: Swiss taxes are rather low by European standards, because voters are able to review and approve a broad range of expenditures, and political decision making tends to be slow, because contending individual claims and opinions must be allowed to be expressed at every step. Kilimanjaro; 1931-05-27 Swiss Auguste Piccard and Paul Kipfer make 1st flight into stratosphere, by balloon from Augsburg, Germany; 1932-05-03 24 tourists begin 1st air-charter holiday (London-Basle, Switzerland); 1932-08-18 Auguste Piccard and Max Cosyns reach 16,201m in a balloon launched from Dübendorf, Switzerland Switzerland Facts 1. In 2017, almost 18% of the Swiss population is … The Archives promotes historical research in Switzerland and is part of the Institut für Geschichte The Swiss Institute for History. In terms of interesting facts about Switzerland, it is worth noting that the Romans conquered the various tribes that had taken up residence in the country in and around 15 BC. 54. One of the other more interesting years in Swiss history is 1848. If you like to travel, like us on Facebook or spread the good word. History of Switzerland, 1499-1914 (1922) full text online; Ozment, Steven E. "The Reformation in the Cities: The Appeal of Protestantism to Sixteenth-Century Germany and Switzerland (1975) Remak, Joachim. In the sport of curling, a stone is propelled toward a target. I live in a neighbourhood in which over 100 different nationalities live together in peace and harmony…. Yet, Switzerland has forged strength from all these differences, creating a peaceful society in which individual rights are carefully balanced against community and national interests. Two other attractions that offer insight into the storied history of Switzerland are the Grossmunster Cathedral and the Fraumunster Church, both of which can be found in Zurich. Switzerland was originally inhabited by Celtic tribes. That explains the abbreviation CH. Learning as much as possible about Swiss history before visiting the country is a good idea. Ordinary citizens are able to participate at every level of politics and regularly exercise their will in referenda and initiatives, through which Swiss citizens directly make numerous policy decisions at the national and subnational level. Check out some more surprising facts about Switzerland or facts about lakes and mountains in Switzerland. It extends about 135 miles (220 km) from north to south and 220 miles (350 km) at its widest extent from west to east. The Grossmünster is arguably the most important church in Switzerland. This site, which is known as Augusta Raurica, is only about seven miles from the city, and among its highlights are some fascinating ruins and an excellent museum. With around 7000 lakes, it would not be wrong to call Switzerland a land of lakes. Restaurant in the Alpine village of Grindelwald, Switzerland. Even so, the Swiss blend of federalism and direct democracy is unique in the world and is considered central to the country’s political and economic success. In Bern, two of the more interesting historical attractions include the Zytglogge and the Munster. However, glossy tourism brochures do not tell the entire story: Switzerland is much more than a country of stereotypes. As a consequence of its remarkably long-lived stability and carefully guarded neutrality, Switzerland—Geneva, in particular—has been selected as headquarters for a wide array of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including many associated with the United Nations (UN)—an organization the Swiss resisted joining until the early 21st century. Check out this compilation of interesting facts about Switzerland that have probably never occurred to … Destination 360. A landlocked country of towering mountains, deep Alpine lakes, grassy valleys dotted with neat farms and small villages, and thriving cities that blend the old and the new, Switzerland is the nexus of the diverse physical and cultural geography of western Europe, renowned for both its natural beauty and its way of life. The Swiss Alps cover most of the country, and they are among the most picturesque mountains in the world. Spectacular View of Lake Zurich Lake Zurich is one of the largest lakes in Switzerland covering the area of 88.66 square kilometres. Switzerland is one of the smallest, yet most special countries in the world. But when you take a closer look and learn the facts about Switzerland, it is far from boring. Let’s learn more with these interesting facts about Italy that cover its history, culture, geography, people, food, weird laws, and some interesting things for kids. By the end of the thirteenth century, however, the seed of independence was sewn. In 1798, Switzerland was conquered by the French Revolution. The Roman colonization of Swiss lands would last up until 455 AD, which is when the Barbarians decided to invade. The former is a medieval clock tower that features moving puppets and a fifteenth-century astronomical clock. Read about Switzerland's capital city, population, currency, economy, popular sports and much more. It helps travelers better appreciate the attractions, the culture, and the people. Switzerland - Switzerland - History: Switzerland’s history is one of a medieval defensive league formed during a time and in an area lacking imperial authority. The Bernese Oberland region is widely considered to be one of the most breath... Zermatt Switzerland is a charming village that owes much of its fame to the M... Hi, Near the city of Basel, some of the most interesting Roman ruins can be found. Switzerland was formed in 1291 by an alliance of cantons against the Habsburg dynasty—the Confoederatio Helvetica (or Swiss Confederation), from which the abbreviation CH for Switzerland derives—though only in 1848, when a new constitution was adopted, was the present nation formed. This small, rugged European country, known for its irresistible chocolate, sturdy mountain cheese, and breathtaking beauty, has so many things to offer. The first group to identifiably inhabit what is now Switzerland, however, were the Celts, who were moving east at the time. La Gruyère district, Fribourg canton, Switzerland. Switzerland is also known as Confoederatio Helvetica. This occurred around 15 BC, which is also when the Roman ruler, Tiberius I, conquered the Alps. Switzerland’s administrative capital is Bern, while Lausanne serves as its judicial centre. Not long after the Barbarians conquered the Romans, the Christians would move in. Switzerland has been an independent country since 1499 (apart from a brief French occupation between 1798 and 1815). The Swiss lands would be divided until 1,000 AD, which is the year that they joined the Holy Roman Empire and became unified. These cathedrals have been renovated and partially rebuilt since their creation, though they originally date back to the days when Switzerland was little more than a chess piece in the strategic game of European domination. Switzerland history is about as interesting as history gets. In the year 1291, some of the cantons in Switzerland formed an alliance, which was the impetus for the push towards sovereignty. This is one of the more interesting facts about Switzerland. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Its land bordering countries are Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, and France. Here are some fascinating Switzerland facts and stunning superlatives: 1. Switzerland, federated country of central Europe. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). In this article, we will discuss important interesting facts about Switzerland. 1929-12-15 Swiss pilot Walter Mittelholzer is the first to fly over Mt. The Celts occupied the western part of Switzerland, while the eastern half became part of a Roman province that was named Raetia. In the 1st century BC, Rome conquered the land and Switzerland was a Roman province for 500 years. Switzerland Joins the UN and Moves to the Right Politically On Sept 10, 2002, the Swiss abandoned their long-held neutrality to become the 190th member of the UN. Prior to 1848, internal conflict was quite common, but Switzerland has enjoyed relative domestic tranquility … (1993). It is a fascinating, unique country. The development of the country would begin not long afterward. Destinations • Europe • Switzerland • Switzerland History. Facts about people and society in Switzerland. Switzerland has long been a model multiethnic, multilingual society, a place in which diverse peoples can live in social harmony and unite in common interest. Switzerland’s rugged topography and multicultural milieu have tended to emphasize difference. 48 of the mountains are over 4 000 metres/ 13 120 feet high. An Alpine village near Saint Moritz in the upper Engadin valley, Graubünden canton, Switzerland. Switzerland is the birthplace of many inventions like the first solar-powered airplane and milk chocolates. Where is Lungern located? This was the year that the country adopted its federal constitution, naming Bern as the capital in the process. A metropolis extending along a large lake where the mountains meet the plains, Zürich is by far the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, its famed Bahnhofstrasse rivaling shopping districts found in other leading cities in the world. During the 1970s and ’80s, ambitious environmental policies were implemented by the cantons and municipalities, and this led to impressive progress on pollution abatement. After breaking from the Holy Roman Empire in 1439, the Perpetual Alliance, as this alliance of cantons was known, signed a treaty with France that proved to cause some significant turmoil within the Swiss borders. – Source. Severe environmental stress, resulting in pollution and debates over the use of natural resources that ’ highest! 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