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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

Switzerland

Is the idealism between work and life balance actually exist?

by estyindra

Euro Trip Trilogy - part 1 (Summer 2006), part 2 (Autumn 2012) and part 3 (Spring 2013)

Sep 2012 - Apr 2013  »  Netherlands | Indonesia | Germany | Switzerland | Belgium | Austria

Info of Montreal

by gauravks

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

Corée du Nord

by SoMaGaDe

Voyage dans le temps et l'espace

Apr 2017  »  China (People's Republic) | Switzerland

Featured hotels in

Switzerland

SwitzerlandSUVRETTA HOUSE 

Via Chasellas 1
St Moritz CH-7500
Switzerland

Price (US$): $1273 - $5067 / night

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Seasonal hotel closing: Sep 9, 2012 through Dec 7, 2012 and April 7, 2013 through June 27, 2013 Only hotel in St.Moritz with direct access to ski lifts and ski slopes. Own ski lift on site. Ski in and ski out. Own ski school and ski shop. Quiet location in posh residential neighbourhood. Hiking trails start from hotel. 2km from St.Moritz centre. Complimentary Shuttle bus to town center. All rooms with lake or mountain view. Teddy Club childrens restaurant serves special dinner from 6 pm to 7… more »

SwitzerlandRoyal Plaza Montreux 

Grand Rue 97
Montreux 1820
Switzerland

Price (US$): $213 - $930 / night

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Location. Royal Plaza Montreux is a business friendly Montreux hotel on a lake and close to Castle Chatelard, Freddie Mercury Statue, and Place du Marche. Additional points of interest include Musee du Vieux Montreux and Montreux Casino. Hotel Features. Royal Plaza Montreux's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the breakfast area (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an… more »

SwitzerlandFerienart Resort & Spa 

Am Biel
Saas Fee 3906
Switzerland

Price (US$): $655 - $686 / night

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Location. Ferienart Resort & Spa is located in Saas Fee's Saas neighborhood, close to Saas Fee Ski Resort and Saas Grund Ski Resort. Regional points of interest also include Sunnegga Ski Resort and Gornergrat Infrared Telescope. Hotel Features. Ferienart Resort & Spa features a bar/lounge and a snack bar/deli. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. This 5 star property has a business center and offers a meeting/conference room, a… more »

SwitzerlandGrand Hotel du Lac Vevey 

1 Rue D Italie
Vevey 1800
Switzerland

Price (US$): $311 - $478 / night

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Location. Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey is located in Vevey, close to Castle Chatelard. Additional area points of interest include Freddie Mercury Statue and Place du Marche. Hotel Features. Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey's restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include a sauna, a fitness facility, a steam room, and complimentary bicycles. Spa amenities include spa services, massage/treatment rooms,… more »

SwitzerlandMoevenpick Hotel Zuerich-Airport 

Walter-Mittelholzer-Strasse 8
Glattbrugg
Opfikon 8152
Switzerland

Price (US$): $218 - $798 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Moevenpick Hotel Zuerich Airport is located in Opfikon's Glattbrugg neighborhood and close to Zurich Exhibition Centre, Shopping Center Glatt, and University of Zurich. Other area points of interest include Zurich Zoological Garden and Swiss National Museum. Hotel Features. Dining options at Moevenpick Hotel Zuerich Airport include 3 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility and a children's club. This 5 star… 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