No wind serves him who addresses his voyage to no certain port.
— Michel de Montaigne, 1533 - 1592
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Switzerland

Background

Switzerland

The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country 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.

About

Switzerland (German: Schweiz, French: Suisse, Italian: Svizzera, Romansch: Svizra) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It has borders with France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north.

The climate is temperate, but varies with altitude. Switzerland has cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters and cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers.

Switzerland is known for its mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) but it also has a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes. The highest point is Dufourspitze at 4,634 m while Lake Maggiore is only 195 m above sea level.

Read more about Switzerland in our Switzerland travel guide »

Featured journals from

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Info of Montreal

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Montreal is one of Canada's largest and most popular city,is geographically as close to the European coast as to Vancouver,and in look and feel it combines some of the finest aspects of the two continents.This is also the second-largest French-speaking metropolis after Paris. Montréal is also innovative and invigorating,offering a whirlwind of cultural creations,both traditional and modern. It is a unique city offering a vibrant night-life and several world-renown restaurants,bar clubs and lounges.The city is also a favorite destination for avid shoppers.It is a wonderful city offering a unique living experience from anything else in the world.Montreal is an enormous metropolis and the second-biggest city in the whole of Canada,known for its friendly atmosphere and ambiance, historical architecture and lavish churches, enormous shopping malls and top restaurants.One of Montreal's most surprising features is the 'Underground City'which is a vast network of tunnels,shops hotels,cinemas and business, protected from the cold winter weather extremes. No matter what you are looking for,outdoor/indoor attractions, music, dance,culture,great food,nice people,beautiful scenery or quiet tranquil moments,you can find it all in this wonderful city of Montreal.It will astound you with all its beauty and impress you with all it has to offer. Want to know more about Montreal,visit http://www.ticketstocanada.co.uk for more information.

Mar 2011 - May 2011  »  Switzerland | Portugal | Italy

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Featured hotels in

Switzerland

SwitzerlandRenaissance Zürich Tower Hotel 

Turbinenstrasse 20
Zurich 8005
Switzerland

Price (US$): $361 - $739 / night

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Location. Renaissance Zürich Tower Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in Zurich's Aussersihl neighborhood, close to Letzigrund Stadium, Swiss National Museum, and Bahnhofstrasse. Additional points of interest include Fraumuenster and Zurich Zoological Garden. Hotel Features. Renaissance Zürich Tower Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves full breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply).… more »

SwitzerlandHotel Schweizerhof Bern 

Bahnhofplatz 11
Bern 3001
Switzerland

Price (US$): $556 - $764 / night

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Location. Located in central Bern, Hotel Schweizerhof Bern is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Bern Art Museum and Bundeshaus. Additional points of interest include Bern Town Hall and Zahringerbrunnen. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hotel Schweizerhof Bern include 3 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves cooked to order breakfasts each morning in the brasserie (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities… more »

SwitzerlandPark Hyatt Zurich 

Beethovenstrasse 21
Zurich 8002
Switzerland

Price (US$): $1187 - $1770 / night

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Location. Located in central Zurich, Park Hyatt Zurich is a business friendly hotel within walking distance of Museum Baerengasse, Paradeplatz, and Bahnhofstrasse. Additional points of interest include SIX Swiss Exchange and Zurich Town Hall. Hotel Features. Park Hyatt Zurich features a restaurant, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service health… more »

SwitzerlandChalet Belmont im Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort & Spa 

Via dil Parc 3
Flims 7018
Switzerland

Price (US$): $519 - $561 / night

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Location. Chalet Belmont im Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort & Spa is a family friendly Flims hotel in the mountains and close to Flimserstein and Laax Ski Resort. Other regional attractions include Elm Ski Resort and Brigels Ski Resort. Hotel Features. Dining options at Chalet Belmont im Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort & Spa include 6 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast in the breakfast room.… more »

SwitzerlandGrand Hotel Eden 

Riva Paradiso 1
Paradiso 6900
Switzerland

Price (US$): $353 - $613 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Grand Hotel Eden is located in Paradiso's Lake Lugano neighborhood and close to Museum of Modern Art, Palazzo dei Congressi, and Santa Maria degli Angeli. Nearby points of interest also include Piazza della Riforma and San Lorenzo Cathedral. Hotel Features. Grand Hotel Eden's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A swim up bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning… more »

Browse more hotels in Switzerland »

Switzerland

Full name
Swiss Confederation
Capital
Berne
Location

Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy

Geographic coordinates

47 00 N, 8 00 E

Area comparative

slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

Border countries

Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Climate

temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

Terrain

mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

Lowest point

Lake Maggiore 195 m

Highest point

Dufourspitze 4,634 m

Natural resources

hydropower potential, timber, salt

Population

7,623,438 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%

Religions

Roman Catholic 41.8%, Protestant 35.3%, Muslim 4.3%, Orthodox 1.8%, other Christian 0.4%, other 1%, unspecified 4.3%, none 11.1% (2000 census)

Languages

German (official) 63.7%, French (official) 20.4%, Italian (official) 6.5%, Serbo-Croatian 1.5%, Albanian 1.3%, Portuguese 1.2%, Spanish 1.1%, English 1%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 2.8% (2000 census)

Government type

formally a confederation but similar in structure to a federal republic

Independence

1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)

National holiday

Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)

Chief of state

President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline CALMY-REY (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF (since 1 January 2011); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government representing the Federal Council; the Federal Council is the formal chief of state and head of government whose council members, rotating in one-year terms as federal president, represent the Council

Head of government

President of the Swiss Confederation Micheline CALMY-REY (since 1 January 2011); Vice President Eveline WIDMER-SCHLUMPF (since 1 January 2011)

Internet country code

.ch

Internet users

6.152 million (2009)

Airports

65 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Basel

Other countries in the region