Quartal 2019", "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019", "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey", "US is still by far the richest country, China fastest growing", "Franc's rise puts Swiss top of rich list", "Zürich mit der zweithöchsten Lebensqualität weltweit", Kanton Schwyz: Kurzer historischer Überblick, Marco Marcacci, Confederatio helvetica (2002), Switzerland's Roman heritage comes to life, "Iron Age Celtic Woman Wearing Fancy Clothes Buried in This 'Tree Coffin' in Switzerland", "This Iron Age Celtic Woman Was Buried in a Hollowed-Out Tree Trunk", "Kelte trifft Keltin: Ergebnisse zu einem aussergewöhnlichen Grabfund - Stadt Zürich", "Iron Age Celtic Woman Found Buried In A Hollowed-Out Tree Trunk In Zurich", "Iron Age Celtic Woman Buried in 'Tree Trunk Coffin' Discovered in Switzerland". Regions in Switzerland. Since 2000 the armed force department has also maintained the Onyx intelligence gathering system to monitor satellite communications. Swiss wine is produced mainly in Valais, Vaud (Lavaux), Geneva and Ticino, with a small majority of white wines. [95][96] A similar referendum, called for before, but held shortly after the 11 September attacks in the US, was defeated by over 78% of voters. Switzerland (German: Schweiz Karte) is a European nation located at the central part of the continent.Its official name is Swiss Confederation, and it’s a landlocked country bordered by Italy in the south, Germany in the north, France in the west, Liechtenstein and Austria in the east. Austria and Liechtenstein both lie to the east of Switzerland. [215] With an ageing population and new healthcare technologies, health spending will likely continue to rise. 501: Übersicht:Volksinitiative 'Strom ohne Atom – Für eine Energiewende und schrittweise Stilllegung der Atomkraftwerke (Strom ohne Atom), "Switzerland to Phase Out Nuclear Energy; E.U. The Federal Constitution adopted in 1848 is the legal foundation of the modern federal state. The Matterhorn is the Mountain of Mountains. The Alemanni settled the Swiss plateau in the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps in the 8th century, forming Alemannia. The Swiss victory in the Swabian War against the Swabian League of Emperor Maximilian I in 1499 amounted to de facto independence within the Holy Roman Empire. The unemployment rate increased from a low of 1.7% in June 2000 to a peak of 4.4% in December 2009. [note 9][75], The Swiss Confederation consists of 26 cantons:[71][78]. [118] Nevertheless, domestic purchasing power is one of the best in the world. Switzerland is located in central Europe. On 31 May 2016 the world's longest and deepest railway tunnel and the first flat, low-level route through the Alps, the 57.1-kilometre long (35.5 mi) Gotthard Base Tunnel, opened as the largest part of the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA) project after 17 years of realization. GDP per hour worked is the world's 16th highest, at 49.46 international dollars in 2012.[136]. [21] In 2019, IMD placed Switzerland first in attracting skilled workers. The Merlot is the main variety produced in Ticino. The war convinced most Swiss of the need for unity and strength towards its European neighbours. Sometime around the start of the Common Era, the Romans maintained a large legionary camp called Vindonissa, now a ruin at the confluence of the Aare and Reuss rivers, near the town of Windisch, an outskirt of Brugg. Practised only among the alpine population since prehistoric times, it is recorded to have taken place in Basel in the 13th century. Zürich, Geneva and Basel have been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with Zürich ranked second globally. 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. [178] The other international airports are Geneva Airport (13.9 million passengers in 2012),[179] EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg which is located in France, Bern Airport, Lugano Airport, St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport and Sion Airport. While the Rhône flows into the Mediterranean Sea at the French Camargue region and the Rhine flows into the North Sea at Rotterdam in the Netherlands, about 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) apart, both springs are only about 22 kilometres (14 miles) apart from each other in the Swiss Alps. Location of Switzerland ... Switzerland was the joint host, with Austria, of the Euro 2008 tournament. [217][218] Switzerland has gone from a largely rural country to an urban one in just 70 years. For example, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), IOC's Olympic Museum and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) are located in Lausanne. [241], The freedom of the press and the right to free expression is guaranteed in the federal constitution of Switzerland. Referendums were made mandatory for any amendment of this constitution. [125][126][127] Apart from agriculture, economic and trade barriers between the European Union and Switzerland are minimal and Switzerland has free trade agreements worldwide. Giving credit to those who favoured the power of the cantons (the Sonderbund Kantone), the national assembly was divided between an upper house (the Council of States, two representatives per canton) and a lower house (the National Council, with representatives elected from across the country). Members of both houses serve for 4 years and only serve as members of parliament part-time (so-called Milizsystem or citizen legislature). There are some valley areas in the southern part of Switzerland where some cold-hardy palm trees are found. Modern-day Switzerland was therefore then divided between the kingdoms of Alemannia and Burgundy. 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. The largest city in Switzerland is a major contemporary art and shopping destination. [222], Switzerland has no official state religion, though most of the cantons (except Geneva and Neuchâtel) recognise official churches, which are either the Roman Catholic Church or the Swiss Reformed Church. The Rhône is both the main source and outflow of Lake Geneva. 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. [161] They continue to discuss further areas for cooperation. Omissions? The Alps are a high mountain range running across the central-south of the country, constituting about 60% of the country's total area. The Swiss Super League is the nation's professional football club league. [138] The largest university in Switzerland is the University of Zurich with nearly 25,000 students. Zürich became another stronghold around the same time, with Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger taking the lead there. Geographer and scientific adviser, Bundesamt für Raumentwicklung (Swiss Federal Planning Bureau), Bern, Switzerland. Any 8 cantons together can also call a constitutional referendum on a federal law. Switzerland is a small country that is not on the coast although it is suitable for a mountain holiday. In 1848, the federal constitution provided that details concerning the federal institutions, such as their locations, should be taken care of by the Federal Assembly (BV 1848 Art. It outlines basic and political rights of individuals and citizen participation in public affairs, divides the powers between the Confederation and the cantons and defines federal jurisdiction and authority. The cultural diversity accounts for a variety of newspapers. [34][35], During the Early Modern period of Swiss history, the growing authoritarianism of the patriciate families combined with a financial crisis in the wake of the Thirty Years' War led to the Swiss peasant war of 1653. It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. [134] Population growth from net immigration is quite high, at 0.52% of population in 2004, increased in the following years before falling to 0.54% again in 2017. 4 National languages", "Die am häufigsten üblicherweise zu Hause gesprochenen Sprachen der ständigen Wohnbevölkerung ab 15 Jahren – 2012–2014, 2013–2015, 2014–2016", "Personen nach Anzahl Sprachen, die sie regelmässig verwenden – 2014", "Patients are very satisfied with "Hospital Switzerland, "Zufriedenheit durch Vertrauen: Kurzbericht zur grossen Ärztestudie", "Kundenzufriedenheit: Krankenkassen sollten Effizienz und Image verbessern", "Components of population change – Data, indicators: Deaths, mortality and life expectancy", "The Human Capital Report, Insight Report", "OECD.StatExtracts, Health, Health Status, Life expectancy, Total population at birth, 2011", "Statistical Data on Health and Accident Insurance", OECD and WHO survey of Switzerland's health system, https://www.letemps.ch/suisse/region-lemanique-affiche-plus-haut-taux-depression, Städte und Agglomerationen unter der Lupe, Swiss countryside succumbs to urban sprawl, Enquête représentative sur l'urbanisation de la Suisse (Pronatura), "Quality of Living City Ranking | Mercer", "Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit", "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religionszugehörigkeit 1910–2013", "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung ab 15 Jahren nach Religions- / Konfessionszugehörigkeit, 2012", "The world's most amazing football pitches – in pictures", "IIHF World Championships 2009 official website", Michelin Guide Switzerland 2010 attests to the high quality of gourmet cooking with one new 2 star restaurant and 8 new one star, Swiss region serves up food with star power, Table 38. [32] Some regions (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, later known as Waldstätten) were accorded the Imperial immediacy to grant the empire direct control over the mountain passes. p. 82. Zürich and Geneva are regarded as global cities, ranked as Alpha and Beta respectively. Switzerland is divided in three main geographic regions: the Swiss Alps, the Central Plateau and the Jura, each corresponding to very different geological realities.In addition, two small regions are not part of those three. It was defeated with about two thirds of the voters against the proposal. The most frequent characteristics of Helvetisms are in vocabulary, phrases, and pronunciation, but certain Helvetisms denote themselves as special in syntax and orthography likewise. Swiss people from all strata of society, whether Catholic or Protestant, from the liberal or conservative current, realised that the cantons would profit more if their economic and religious interests were merged. [note 6] On coins and stamps, the Latin name, Confoederatio Helvetica – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages. Percentage of foreign students in tertiary education (1998, 2003) in Education at a Glance, OECD indicators 2005 – Executive Summary", "Graduate Institute of International Studies Geneva Overview | Study Abroad Programs", "e-Perspectives, Kendra Magraw ('10) Accepted at Geneva's Prestigious IHEID – U of MN Law School", "Swiss Nobel Prize Winners / Nobel Prize Winners in Switzerland", "Mueller Science – Spezialitaeten: Schweizer Nobelpreisträger", "CERN - the largest laboratory in the world www.swissworld.org", "The contexts of Swiss opposition to Europe", "Volksinitiative "Ja zu Europa! [261][262], Coordinates: 46°50′N 8°20′E / 46.833°N 8.333°E / 46.833; 8.333, This article is about the sovereign state. Single-parent families, those with no post-compulsory education and those who are out of work are among the most likely to be living below the poverty line. Agricultural protectionism—a rare exception to Switzerland's free trade policies—has contributed to high food prices. More recently Vladimir Prelog, Heinrich Rohrer, Richard Ernst, Edmond Fischer, Rolf Zinkernagel, Kurt Wüthrich and Jacques Dubochet received Nobel Prizes in the sciences. The Old Swiss Confederacy had acquired a reputation of invincibility during these earlier wars, but expansion of the confederation suffered a setback in 1515 with the Swiss defeat in the Battle of Marignano. Since 1935 urban development has claimed as much of the Swiss landscape as it did during the previous 2,000 years. [201], The federal government is obliged to communicate in the official languages, and in the federal parliament simultaneous translation is provided from and into German, French and Italian. Switzerland is a landlocked mountainous country in South Central Europe, bordered by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Liechtenstein. [203] Conversely, in the French-speaking regions the local dialects have almost disappeared (only 6.3% of the population of Valais, 3.9% of Fribourg, and 3.1% of Jura still spoke dialects at the end of the 20th century), while in the Italian-speaking regions dialects are mostly limited to family settings and casual conversation. [250] It also became World Vice-Champion in 2013 and 2018. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes, ultimately perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’ (cf. [35] In 1979 areas from the canton of Bern attained independence from the Bernese, forming the new canton of Jura. [124] Also, notable are UBS AG, Zurich Financial Services, Credit Suisse, Barry Callebaut, Swiss Re, Tetra Pak, The Swatch Group and Swiss International Air Lines. Neighbouring countries are: Austria, Germany, France, Italy & Liechtenstein. The land border checkpoints will remain in place only for goods movements, but should not run controls on people, though people entering the country had their passports checked until 29 March 2009 if they originated from a Schengen nation. [34][35], Throughout the rest of the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries the Swiss regions continued under Frankish hegemony (Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties). Switzerland was the last Western republic to grant women the right to vote. On 18 April 1999 the Swiss population and the cantons voted in favour of a completely revised federal constitution. The English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, which was in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The treaty also allowed Switzerland to increase its territory, with the admission of the cantons of Valais, Neuchâtel and Geneva. 108). Since the Reformation of the 16th century, Switzerland has maintained a strong policy of armed neutrality; it has not fought an international war since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. [224], Christianity is the predominant religion of Switzerland (about 67% of resident population in 2016-2018[3] and 75% of Swiss citizens[225]), divided between the Roman Catholic Church (35.8% of the population), the Swiss Reformed Church (23.8%), further Protestant churches (2.2%), Eastern Orthodoxy (2.5%), and other Christian denominations (2.2%). While the cost of the system is among the highest, it compares well with other European countries in terms of health outcomes; patients have been reported as being, in general, highly satisfied with it. Februar 2014: Initiative "Gegen Masseneinwanderung, EU and Switzerland agree on free movement, Switzerland referendum: Voters reject end to free movement with EU, "Vorlage Nr. ", nach Kantonen. Switzerland Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. The President of the Confederation is elected by the Assembly from among the seven members, traditionally in rotation and for a one-year term; the President chairs the government and assumes representative functions. Of those, 120,000 are active in periodic Army training and 80,000 are non-training reserves.[92]. 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. With its world-class companies, Novartis and Roche, and many other players, it is also one of the world's most important centres for the life sciences industry. After the war, the Swiss government exported credits through the charitable fund known as the Schweizerspende and also donated to the Marshall Plan to help Europe's recovery, efforts that ultimately benefited the Swiss economy. [203], The principal official languages (German, French, and Italian) have terms, not used outside of Switzerland, known as Helvetisms. Germany is located in North Central Europe, on the Great North European Plain. [42] This centralised the government of the country, effectively abolishing the cantons: moreover, Mülhausen joined France and the Valtellina valley became part of the Cisalpine Republic, separating from Switzerland. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. Click the map and drag to move the map around. It is listed 87th on the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities. Switzerland is located in Europe. Switzerland’s small size—its total area is about half that of Scotland—and its modest population give little indication of its international significance. Switzerland is a land-locked country in central Europe. The location map of Switzerland below highlights the geographical position of Switzerland within Europe on the world map. Its policy of neutrality was internationally recognised at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. With Mexico and the Republic of Korea it forms the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG). [157] In recent years, the Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with those of the EU in many ways, in an effort to enhance their international competitiveness. After rent, taxes and social security contributions, plus spending on goods and services, the average household has about 15% of its gross income left for savings. In German the country is called Schweiz, Italian Svizzera and Romansch Svizra.. Switzerland is located in the Western Alps; the country is sandwiched between France to the west and north, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to … Switzerland is also known for Swiss chocolates, Swiss cheese and many local specialties, like Fondue, a dish made of melted cheese. 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. [65] Precipitation tends to be spread moderately throughout the year with a peak in summer. [199][198] The fourth national language, Romansh (0.5%), is a Romance language spoken locally in the southeastern trilingual canton of Grisons, and is designated by Article 4 of the Federal Constitution as a national language along with German, French, and Italian, and in Article 70 as an official language if the authorities communicate with persons who speak Romansh. Other areas throughout the year have a recreational culture that caters to tourism such as sight-seeing, yet the quieter seasons are spring and autumn when there are fewer visitors. Switzerland occupies the crossroads of Germanic and Romance Europe, as reflected in its four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. [61], Switzerland lies between latitudes 45° and 48° N, and longitudes 5° and 11° E. It contains three basic topographical areas: the Swiss Alps to the south, the Swiss Plateau or Central Plateau, and the Jura mountains on the west. Preparatory discussions are being opened in four new areas: opening up the electricity market, participation in the European GNSS project Galileo, cooperating with the European centre for disease prevention and recognising certificates of origin for food products. When war broke out between France and its rivals, Russian and Austrian forces invaded Switzerland. German, French, Italian, and Romansh all enjoy national status, and English is spoken widely. [35] In September 2020, a referendum calling for vote on end to the pact that allowed a free movement of people from the European Union was introduced by the Swiss People's Party (SPP). The cantons are federated states, have a permanent constitutional status and, in comparison with the situation in other countries, a high degree of independence. Around 260 AD, the fall of the Agri Decumates territory north of the Rhine transformed today's Switzerland into a frontier land of the Empire. [note 4][13] It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern. [218] The plateau is very densely populated with about 450 people per km2 and the landscape continually shows signs of human presence. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. [42] It introduced the facultative referendum for laws at the federal level. A tradition in Switzerland, Christmas markets are found in every major city and even on top of a mountain. More recent authors include Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (1878–1947), whose novels describe the lives of peasants and mountain dwellers, set in a harsh environment and Blaise Cendrars (born Frédéric Sauser, 1887–1961). [243] The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, whose name was recently changed to SRG SSR, is charged with the production and broadcast of radio and television programmes. Switzerland has one of the best environmental records among nations in the developed world;[180] it was one of the countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 and ratified it in 2003. Its tallest peak is the Dufourspitze at 15,203 ft (4,634 m) on the Swiss side of the Italian border, one of 10 summits of the Monte Rosa massif. 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