Switzerland officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons not states, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western-Central Europe and is bordered to the south by Italy, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps. Switzerland is a mountainous country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world renowned. Here are some fun facts about Switzerland you will definitely find interesting.
Coming up top on the facts of Switzerland is the amazing swizz. Switzerland’s climate is not all about snowy mountains – cold, snowy winters were historically the norm but freezing temperatures and large snowfalls are less the cases today, especially in lowland areas. Many Swiss ski resorts would struggle to survive without artificial snow. During hot summers, temperatures have been known to exceed 30–35°C in some areas. The Alps acts as a climate barrier: northern Switzerland tends to get colder from Atlantic winds, while southern Switzerland has a milder climate influenced by Mediterranean winds.
The population of Switzerland in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 7,446,000, which placed it at number 95 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 16% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 16% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 94 males for every 100 females in the country.
The four ethnolinguistic groups (Germanic, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romansch) that make up the native Swiss population have retained their specific characteristics. Originally, the country was inhabited by Celtic tribes in the west and south and by Rhaetians in the east. With the collapse of Roman rule, Germanic tribes poured in, among them the Alemanni and Burgundians. The Alemanni ultimately became the dominant group, and the present Alemannic vernacular (Schwyzertütsch, or Schweizerdeutsch) is spoken by nearly two-thirds of the total population as their principal language. About 65% of the population is German, 18% is French, 10% is Italian, 1% is Romansch, and 6% are of various other groups.
Switzerland is a multilingual state with four national languages—German, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romansch. As a part of facts of Switzerland About 63.7% of the resident population speaks German as their principal language, predominantly in northern, central, and western Switzerland; 19.2% speak French, mainly in the west and southwest; 7.6% Italian, primarily in the southern region closest to Italy; and 0.6% Rhaeto-Romansch, used widely only in the southeastern canton of Graubünden (Grisons). The remaining 8.9% speak various other languages. There are numerous local dialects.
Not including the history of the country to the facts of Switzerland will make it not complete as The Helvetii, a Celtic tribe conquered by Julius Caesar in 58 bc, were the first inhabitants of Switzerland (Helvetia) known by name. A Roman province for 200 years, Switzerland was a prosperous land with large cities (Avenches was the capital) and a flourishing trade. In ad 250, however, Switzerland was occupied by the Alemanni, a Germanic tribe, and in 433 by the Burgundians. The Franks, who defeated the Alemanni in 496 and the Burgundians about 534, incorporated the country into the Frankish Empire. Under Frankish rule, new cities were founded; others, such as Zürich and Lausanne, were rebuilt; and Christianity was introduced.
Zürich, the largest city, is the commercial, financial, and industrial center of Switzerland. Basel is the second most important commercial city, followed by Geneva and Lausanne. Most Swiss wholesale firms are importers as well, specializing in one commodity or a group of related commodities. These cities make up the great trade fairs of this great country.
BANKING AND SECURITIES
In our list of facts of Switzerland we have it that in 2000, the country had two major banks, 24 cantonal banks, and numerous foreign-owned banks, savings banks, and other banks and finance companies. There were a total of 375 banks in the country in that year. The bank balance-sheet total per capita in Switzerland is higher than that of any other nation in the world. Total assets of the Swiss banking system amounted to $1.3 trillion at the end of 2000, while total securities deposits were $3.4 trillion. Moreover, registered banks and bank-like finance companies numbered 494 in 1995, offering the Swiss, on average, the greatest access to banking services of all the world’s nations.
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
The library of Basel University (3 million volumes) and the Swiss National Library in Bern (3.6 million volumes) are the largest in Switzerland. The University of Geneva has 1.8 million volumes; the University of Lausanne has about 1.7 million; and the University of Fribourg has two million. Switzerland has an extensive public library system with about 2,344 service points holding over 28 million volumes in total. The Library and Archives of the United Nations is located in Geneva, as is the library of the International Labor Organization (over 580,000 items).
Switzerland has long been one of the most famous tourist areas in the world, and Swiss hospitality and the Swiss hotel industry are justly renowned. Scenic attractions are manifold, and in the Swiss Alps and on the shores of the Swiss lakes there are features of interest for the skier, the swimmer, the hiker, the mountain climber, and the high alpinist. It’s a part of facts of Switzerland that there are approximately 50,000 km (31,000 mi) of marked footpaths and 500 ski lifts. The hotels are among the best in the world; Switzerland pioneered in modern hotel management and in specialized training for hotel personnel. Central Switzerland and the Geneva region attract the largest number of foreign tourists. Passports and visas are required of all visitors except citizens of the Americas, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand who do not need visas for stays of up to 90 days.
The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other nation in the world
Our list of facts of Switzerland can’t be complete if we leave out this wonderful aspect that the Swiss eat a record of around 11kg per year. Chocolate is a major Swiss export, with 18 Swiss chocolate companies, Switzerland exported almost 115,500 tonnes of chocolate in 2015. They have also invented techniques like conching and tempering to perfect the art of chocolate making. Swiss chocolate makers Daniel Peter and Henri Nestlé invented milk chocolate in 1875. Swiss chocolatier DeLafée has actually developed gold chocolate. They blended 24-karat gold dust into cocoa butter to create edible chocolate gold. Switzerland is internationally known for its high-quality chocolate. Residents help that number by eating approximately 10kg of chocolate annually
Swiss drink their own wine
Only about 2% of Switzerland’s wine leaves the country. The Swiss produce about 200 million liters of wine per year and consume almost all of it themselves. Since it never goes too far, you can always count on a good homegrown drink and good company. In 2015, the average Swiss drank 56.5 liters of beer and 36 liters of wine.