In the Early Middle Agesfrom the switzerlnad of the 4th century, the western extent of modern-day Switzerland was part of the territory of the Kings of the Burgundians. Help About Wikipedia Community portal Recent changes Contact page. For other uses, see Switzerland disambiguation. Retrieved 5 April Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology, 1 February Switzerland is home to many notable contributors banl literature, art, architecture, music and sciences.




The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes day forex room trading y bolsa Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in best russian forex trading system 0c1 The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation ; it has not been in a state of war internationally since and did not join the United Nations until Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world.

On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Associationbut notably not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh.

Although the majority of the population are German speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy[10] and Alpine symbolism. Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF.

The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War ofused alongside the term for "Confederates", Eidgenossen literally: comrades by oathused since the 14th century. The data code for SwitzerlandCH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica English: Helvetic Confederation. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetiia Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era.

Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th centuryforming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries. The oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back aboutyears. One of the most important tribal groups in the Swiss region was the Helvetii. Steadily harassed by the Germanic tribesin 58 BC the Helvetii decided to abandon the Swiss plateau and migrate to western Galliabut Julius Caesar 's armies pursued and defeated them at the Battle of Bibractein today's eastern France, forcing the tribe to move back to its original homeland.

The area occupied by the Helvetii—the namesakes of the later Confoederatio Helvetica —first became part of Rome's Gallia Belgica province and then of its Germania Superior province, while the eastern portion of modern Switzerland was integrated into the Roman province of Raetia. Sometime around the start of the Common Era, the Romans maintained a large legionary camp called Vindonissanow a ruin at the confluence of the Aare and Reuss rivers, near the town of Windischan outskirt of Brugg.

The first how to do forex trading pdf latest second century AD were an age of prosperity for the population living on the Swiss plateau. Several towns, like AventicumIulia Equestris and Augusta Raurica, reached a remarkable size, while hundreds of agricultural estates Villae rusticae were founded in the countryside.

Around AD, the fall of the Agri Decumates territory north of the Rhine transformed today's Switzerland into a frontier land of the Empire. Repeated raids by the Alamanni tribes provoked the ruin of the Roman towns and economy, forcing the population to find shelter near Roman fortresses, like the Castrum Rauracense near Augusta Raurica. The Empire built another line of defence at the north border the so-called Donau-Iller-Rhine-Limesbut at the end of the fourth century the increased Germanic pressure forced the Romans to abandon the linear defence concept, and the Swiss plateau was finally open to the settlement of Germanic tribes.

In the Early Middle Agesfrom the end of the 4th century, the western extent of modern-day Switzerland was part of the territory of the Kings of the Burgundians. The Alemanni settled the Swiss plateau in the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps in the 8th century, forming Alemannia. Modern-day Switzerland was therefore then divided between the kingdoms of Alemannia and Burgundy.

But after its extension under Charlemagnethe Frankish Empire was divided by the Treaty of Verdun in With the extinction of its male line in the Kyburg dynasty fell in AD ; then the Habsburgs under King Rudolph I Holy Roman Emperor in laid claim to the Kyburg lands and annexed them extending their territory to the eastern Swiss plateau. The Confederacy facilitated management of common interests and ensured peace on the important mountain trade routes.

The Federal Charter of agreed between the rural communes of UriSchwyzand Unterwalden is considered the confederacy's founding document, even though similar alliances are likely to have existed decades earlier. The expansion led to increased power and wealth for the confederation. The Swiss victory in the Swabian War against the Swabian League of Emperor Maximilian I in amounted to de facto independence within the Holy Roman Empire. This ended the so-called "heroic" epoch of Swiss history.

It was not until more than one hundred years after these internal wars that, inunder the Peace of WestphaliaEuropean countries recognised Switzerland's independence from the Holy Roman Empire and its neutrality. In the background to this struggle, the conflict between Catholic and Protestant cantons persisted, erupting in further violence at the First War of Villmergeninand the Toggenburg War or Second War of Villmergenin The new regimeknown as the Helvetic Republic, was highly unpopular.

It had been imposed by a foreign invading army and destroyed centuries of tradition, making Switzerland nothing more than a French satellite state. The fierce French suppression of the Nidwalden Revolt in September was an example of the oppressive presence of the French Army and the local population's resistance to the occupation. When war broke out between France and its rivals, Russian and Austrian forces invaded Switzerland.

The Swiss refused to fight alongside the French in the name of the Helvetic Republic. In Napoleon organised a meeting of the leading Swiss politicians from both sides in Paris. The result was the Act of Mediation which largely restored Swiss autonomy and introduced a Confederation of 19 cantons. In the Congress of Vienna fully re-established Swiss independence and the European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality.

Switzerland's borders have not changed since, except for some minor adjustments. Yet however minor the Sonderbundskrieg appears compared with other European riots and wars in the 19th century, it nevertheless had a major impact on both the psychology and the society of the Swiss and of Switzerland. The war convinced most Swiss of the need for unity and strength towards its European neighbours.

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. Thus, while the rest of Europe saw revolutionary uprisingsthe Swiss drew up a constitution which provided for a federal layoutmuch of it inspired by the American example. This constitution provided for a central authority while bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerla the cantons the right to self-government on local issues.

Giving credit to those who favoured the power of the cantons the Sonderbund Kantonethe national assembly was divided between an upper house the Council of Statestwo representatives per canton and a lower house the National Councilwith representatives elected from across the country. Referendums were made mandatory for any amendment of this constitution.

Article 11 of the constitution forbade sending troops to serve abroad, though the Swiss were still obliged to serve Francis II of the Two Sicilies trading team forex index Swiss Guards present at the Siege of Gaeta inmarking the end of foreign service. An important clause of the constitution was that it could be re-written completely if this was deemed necessary, thus enabling it to evolve as a whole rather than being modified one amendment at a time.

An early draft was rejected by the population in but modifications led to its acceptance in It also established federal responsibility for defence, trade, and legal matters. Inthe constitution was revised with unusually strong elements of direct democracywhich remain unique even today. During World War I, Switzerland was home to Vladimir Illych Ulyanov Vladimir Lenin and he remained there until InSwitzerland joined the League of Nationswhich was based in Genevaon condition that it was exempt from any military requirements.

During World War IIdetailed invasion plans were drawn up by the Germans, [34] but Switzerland was never attacked. The Swiss military strategy was changed from one of static defence at the borders to protect the economic heartland, to one of organised long-term attrition and withdrawal to strong, well-stockpiled positions high in the Alps known as the Reduit.

Switzerland was an important base for espionage by both sides in the conflict and often mediated communications between the Axis and Allied powers. Economic cooperation and extension of credit to the Third Reich varied according to the perceived likelihood of invasion and the availability of other trading partners.

Concessions reached a peak after a crucial rail link through Vichy France was severed inleaving Switzerland completely surrounded by the Axis. Over the course of the war, Switzerland interned overrefugees [36] and the International Red Crossbased in Geneva, played an important part during the conflict. Strict immigration and asylum policies as well as the financial relationships with Nazi Germany raised controversy, but not until the end of the 20th century. Over Allied bombers and their crews were interned during the war.

Inthe Paul Scherrer Institute was founded in his name to explore the therapeutic uses of neutron scattering technologies. Financial problems with the defence budget and ethical considerations prevented the substantial funds from being allocated, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of was seen as a valid alternative. All remaining plans for building nuclear weapons were dropped by Some Swiss cantons approved this inwhile at the federal level it was achieved in [29] [41] and, after resistance, in the last canton Appenzell Innerrhoden one of only two remaining Landsgemeinde in After obtaining suffrage at the federal level, women quickly rose in political significance, with the first woman on the seven member Federal Council executive being Elisabeth Koppwho served from —, [29] and the first female president being Ruth Dreifuss in Switzerland joined the Council of Europe in On 18 April the Swiss population and the cantons voted in favour of a completely revised federal constitution.

Switzerland is a founding member of the EFTAbut is not a member of the European Economic Area. An application for membership in the European Union was sent in Maybut not advanced since the EEA was rejected in December [29] when Switzerland was the only country to launch a referendum on the EEA. There have since been several referendums on the EU issue; due to a mixed reaction from the population the membership application has been frozen.

Nonetheless, Swiss law is gradually being adjusted to conform with that of the EU, and the government has signed a number of bilateral agreements with the European Union. Switzerland, together with Liechtensteinhas been completely surrounded by the EU since Austria's entry in 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. The majority of the Swiss population live in the Swiss Plateau.

The largest lake is Lake Geneva, in western Switzerland shared with France. Lake Constance is the second largest Swiss lake and, like the Lake Geneva, an intermediate step by the Rhine at the border to Austria and Germany. Both are located within the Pennine Alps in the canton of Valaison the border with Italy. In the southeast the long Engadin Valley, encompassing the St. It has greater open and hilly landscapes, partly forested, partly open pastures, usually with grazing herds, or vegetables and fruit fields, but it is still hilly.

There are large lakes found here and the biggest Swiss cities are in this area of the country. There are some valley areas in the southern part of Switzerland where some cold-hardy palm trees are found. Summers tend to be warm bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerla humid at times with periodic rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing. The less humid winters in the bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerla may see long intervals of stable conditions for weeks, while the lower lands tend to suffer from inversionduring these periods, thus seeing no sun for weeks.

This works both ways across the alps but is more efficient if blowing from the south due to the steeper step for oncoming wind from the south. Valleys running south to north trigger the best effect. The driest conditions persist in all inner alpine valleys that receive less rain because arriving clouds lose a lot of their content while crossing the mountains before reaching these areas. Autumn is the driest season, winter receives less precipitation than summer, yet the weather patterns in Switzerland are not in a stable climate system and can be variable from year to year with no strict and predictable periods.

Switzerland's ecosystems can be particularly fragile, because the many delicate valleys separated by high mountains often form unique ecologies. The mountainous regions themselves are also vulnerable, with a rich range of plants not found at other altitudes, and experience some pressure from visitors and grazing. The climatic, geological and topographical conditions of the alpine region make for a very fragile ecosystem that is particularly sensitive to climate change.

It is among the oldest constitutions in the world. 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. There are three main governing bodies on the federal level: [52] the bicameral parliament legislativethe Federal Council executive and the Federal Court judicial.

The Swiss Parliament consists of two houses: the Council of States which has 46 representatives two from each canton and one from each half-canton who are elected under a system determined by each canton, and the National Councilwhich consists of members who are elected under a system of proportional representationdepending on the population of each canton.

Members of both houses serve for 4 years and only serve as members of parliament part-time so-called "Milizsystem" or Citizen legislature. Through referendumscitizens may challenge any law passed by parliament and through initiativesintroduce amendments to the federal constitution, thus making Switzerland a direct democracy. It is a collegial body of seven members, elected for a four-year mandate by the Federal Assembly which also exercises oversight over the Council.

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. However, the president is a primus inter pares with no additional powers, and remains the head of a department within the administration. Following the Federal Council electionsthe seven seats in the Federal Council were distributed as follows: The function of the Federal Supreme Court is to hear appeals against rulings of cantonal or federal courts.

The judges are elected by the Federal Assembly for six-year terms. The instruments of this system at the federal level, known as popular rights German : VolksrechteFrench : droits populairesItalian : Diritti popolari[56] include the right to submit a federal initiative and a referendumboth of which may overturn parliamentary decisions. If so, a national vote is scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law.

Any 8 cantons together can also call a constitutional referendum on a federal law. Constitutional amendments, whether introduced by initiative or in parliament, must be accepted by a double majority of the national popular vote and the cantonal popular votes. The cantons have a permanent constitutional status and, in comparison with the situation in other countries, a high degree of independence.

Under the Federal Constitution, all 26 cantons are equal in status. Each canton has its own constitution, and its own parliament, government and courts. The cantons comprise a total of 2, municipalities. Its policy of neutrality was internationally recognised at the Congress of Vienna in Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and historically has served bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerla an intermediary between other states.

Geneva is the birthplace of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the Geneva Conventions and, sincehosts the United Nations Human Rights Council. Even though Switzerland is one of the most recent countries to have joined the United Nations, the Palace of Nations in Geneva is the second biggest centre for the United Nations after New York, and Switzerland was a founding member and home to the League of Nations. Apart from the United Nations headquarters, the Swiss Confederation is host to many UN agencies, like the World Health Organization WHOthe International Labour Organization ILOthe International Telecommunication Union ITUthe United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR and about other international organisations, including the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Additionally the headquarters of the Bank for International Settlements BIS are located in Basel since Being a landlocked country, Switzerland has no navy; however, on lakes bordering neighbouring countries, armed military patrol boats are used. Swiss citizens are prohibited from serving in foreign wizard option in computers on amazon, except for the Swiss Guards of the Vaticanor if they are dual citizens of a foreign country and reside there.

The structure of the Swiss militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their Army issued equipment, including all personal weapons, at home. Some organisations and political parties find this practice controversial [65] but mainstream Swiss opinion is in favour of the system. Men usually receive military conscription orders for training at the age of The reform "Army XXI" was adopted by popular vote init replaced the previous model "Army 95", reducing the effectives fromto aboutOf those,are active in periodic Army training and 80, are non-training reserves.

The first one was held on the occasion of the Franco-Prussian War of — The second was in response to the outbreak of the First World War in August The third mobilisation of the army took place in September in response to the German attack on Poland ; Henri Guisan was elected as the General-in-Chief. Because of its neutrality policy, the Swiss army does not currently take part in armed conflicts in other countries, but is part of some peacekeeping missions around the world.

Since the armed force department has also maintained the Onyx intelligence gathering system to monitor satellite communications. A notable referendum on the subject, launched by an anti-militarist groupwas held on 26 November It was defeated with about two thirds of the voters against the proposal. The large majority of firearms kept at home are issued by the Swiss armybut ammunition is no longer issued. In it was ranked as the wealthiest country in the world in per capita terms with "wealth" being defined to include both financial and non-financial assetswhile the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report showed that Switzerland was the country with the highest average wealth per adult in It is the twentieth largest exporterdespite its small size.

Bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerland 2015 bank holiday dates switzerla has the highest European rating in the Index of Economic Freedomwhile also providing large coverage through public services. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report currently ranks Switzerland's economy as the most competitive in the world, [81] while ranked by the European Union as Europe's most innovative country.

Switzerland is home to several large multinational corporations. Switzerland is ranked as having one of the most powerful economies in the world. Manufacturing consists largely of the production of specialist chemicalshealth and pharmaceutical goods, scientific and precision measuring instruments and musical instruments. The unemployment rate increased from a low of 1.

GDP per hour worked is the world's 16th highest, at Switzerland is a relatively easy place to do business, currently ranking 20th of countries in the Ease of Doing Business Index. The slow growth Switzerland experienced in the s and the early s has brought greater support for video fx android software download reforms and harmonisation with the European Union. Product market liberalisation is lagging behind many EU countries according to the OECD.

Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association EFTA. Education in Switzerland is very diverse because the constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority for the school system to the cantons. The minimum age for primary school is about six years in all cantons, but most cantons provide a free "children's school" starting at four or five years old. Traditionally, the first foreign language in school was always one of the other national languages, although recently English was introduced first in a few cantons.

The fastest learners are taught advanced classes to be prepared for further studies and the matura[] while students who assimilate a little more slowly receive an education more adapted to their needs. There are 12 universities in Switzerlandten of which are maintained at cantonal level and usually offer a range of non-technical subjects. The first university in Switzerland was founded in in Basel with a faculty of medicine and has a tradition of chemical and medical research in Switzerland.

The largest university in Switzerland is the University of Zurich with nearly 25, students. In business and management studies, the University of St. GallenHSG is ranked th in the world according to QS World University Rankings [] and the International Institute for Management Development IMDwas ranked first in open programmes worldwide by the Financial Times. They include the world-famous physicist Albert Einstein [] in the field of physics, who developed his Special relativity while working in Bern.

In total, Nobel Prize winners in all fields stand in relation to Switzerland [] [note 12] and the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded nine times to organisations residing in Switzerland. Another important research centre is the Paul Scherrer Institute. Notable inventions include lysergic acid diethylamide LSDdiazepam Valiumthe scanning tunnelling microscope Nobel prize and Velcro. Some technologies enabled the exploration of new worlds such as the pressurised balloon of Auguste Piccard and the Bathyscaphe which permitted Jacques Piccard to reach the deepest point of the world's oceans.

Switzerland Space Agency, the Swiss Space Officehas been involved in various space technologies and programmes. In addition it was one of the 10 founders of the European Space Agency in and is the seventh largest contributor to the ESA budget. In the private sector, several companies are implicated in the space industry such as Oerlikon Space [] or Maxon Motors [] who provide spacecraft structures. Switzerland voted against membership in the European Economic Area in a referendum in December and has since maintained and developed its relationships with the European Union EU and European countries through bilateral agreements.

In Marchthe Swiss people refused in a popular vote to start accession negotiations with the EU. The western French-speaking areas and the urban regions of the rest of the country tend to be more pro-EU, however with far from any significant share of the population. To minimise the negative consequences of Switzerland's isolation from the rest of Europe, Bern and Brussels signed seven bilateral agreements to further liberalise trade ties.

These agreements were signed in and took effect in This first series of bilateral agreements included the free movement of persons. A second series covering nine areas was signed in and has since been ratified, which includes the Schengen Treaty and the Dublin Convention besides others. A further referendum will be needed to approve million francs to support Romania and Bulgaria and their recent admission. The Swiss have also been under EU and sometimes international pressure to reduce banking secrecy and to raise tax rates to parity with the EU.

Preparatory discussions are being opened in four new areas: opening up the electricity market, participation in the European GNSS project Galileocooperating with the European centre Pada Jam Berapa Trading Forex Dapat Dilakukan disease prevention and recognising certificates of origin for food products. 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 if they originated from a Schengen nation.

This initiative was mostly backed by rural On 18 Maytwo anti-nuclear initiatives were turned down: Moratorium Plusaimed at forbidding the building of new nuclear power plants The agency is supporting the watt society initiative to cut the nation's energy use by more than half by the year On 31 May the world's longest and deepest railway tunnel and the first flat, low-level route through the Alps, the It starts its daily business for passenger transport on 11 December replacing the old, mountainous, scenic route over and through the St Gotthard Massif.

Switzerland has a publicly managed road network without road tolls that is financed by highway permits as well as vehicle and gasoline taxes. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport and Sion Airport. Swiss International Air Lines is the flag carrier of Switzerland. Switzerland has one of the best environmental records among nations in the developed world; [] it was one of the countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol in and ratified it in With Mexico and the Republic of Korea it forms the Environmental Integrity Group EIG.

Publicly organised collection by volunteers and economical railway transport logistics started as early as under the leadership of the notable industrialist Hans Caspar Escher Escher Wyss AG when the first modern Swiss paper manufacturing plant was built in Biberist. As in other European countries, the Illegal disposal of garbage is not tolerated but usually the enforcement of such laws is limited to violations that involve the unlawful disposal of garbage bags at traffic intersections and public areas.

In some cities, stickers need to be purchased that allow for identification of disposable garbage. In common with other developed countries, the Swiss population increased rapidly during the industrial era, quadrupling between and Growth has since stabilised, and like most of Europe, Switzerland faces an ageing populationalbeit with consistent annual growth projected intodue mostly to immigration and a fertility rate close to replacement level.

Immigrants from Sri Lankamost of them former Tamil refugees, were the largest group among people of Asian origin 6. A third of this populationheld Swiss citizenship. Four fifths of persons with an immigration background were themselves immigrants first generation foreigners and native-born and naturalised Swiss citizenswhereas one fifth were born in Switzerland second generation foreigners and native-born and naturalised Swiss citizens.

In reply to one critical report, the Federal Council noted that "racism unfortunately is present in Switzerland", but stated that the high proportion of foreign citizens in the country, as well as the generally unproblematic integration of foreigners", underlined Switzerland's openness. However, federal laws and other official acts do not need to be decreed in Romansh.

Inthe languages most spoken at home among permanent residents aged 15 and older were Swiss German More than two-fifths Other languages spoken at home included English 4. The role played by dialects in each linguistic region varies dramatically: in the German-speaking regions, Swiss German dialects have become ever more prevalent since the second half of the 20th century, especially in the media, such as radio and television, and are used as an everyday language, while the Swiss variety of Standard German is almost always used instead of dialect for written communication c.

German Helvetisms are, roughly speaking, a large group of words typical of Swiss Standard Germanwhich do not appear either in Standard Germannor in other German dialects. These include terms from Switzerland's surrounding language cultures German Billett [] from Frenchfrom similar term in another language Italian azione used not only as act but also as discount from German Aktion.

The most frequent characteristics of Helvetisms are in vocabulary, phrases, and pronunciation, but certain Helvetisms denote themselves as special in syntax and orthography likewise. Dudenone of the prescriptive sources for Standard German, is aware of about Helvetisms. While the cost of the system is among the highest, it compares well with other European countries in terms of health outcomes; patients who are citizens have been reported as being, in general, highly satisfied with it.

Since urban development has claimed as much of the Swiss landscape as it did during the previous 2, years. This urban sprawl does not only affect the plateau but also the Jura and the Alpine foothills [] and there are growing concerns about land use. These churches, and in some cantons also the Old Catholic Church and Jewish congregations, are financed by official taxation of adherents.

There has been a recent rise in Evangelicalism. Non-Christian religions are Hinduism 0. Geneva converted to Protestantism injust before John Calvin arrived there. It became known internationally as the Protestant Romebeing base for such reformers as Theodore Beza or William Farel. One canton, Appenzell, was officially divided into Catholic and Protestant sections in Central Switzerlandthe Valaisthe TicinoAppenzell Innerrhodesthe Juraand Fribourg are traditionally Catholic.

The Swiss Constitution ofunder the recent impression of the clashes of Catholic vs. Protestant cantons that culminated in the Sonderbundskriegconsciously defines a consociational stateallowing the peaceful co-existence of Catholics and Protestants. A initiative calling for the complete separation of church and state was rejected by Swiss culture is characterised by diversity, which is reflected in a wide range of traditional customs. Switzerland is home to many notable contributors to literature, art, architecture, music and sciences.

In addition the country attracted a number of creative persons during time of unrest or war in Europe. Other areas throughout the year have a recreational culture that caters to tourism, yet the quieter seasons are spring and autumn when there are fewer visitors. A traditional farmer and herder culture also predominates in many areas and small farms are omnipresent outside the cities.

Folk art is kept alive in organisations all over the country. In Switzerland it is mostly expressed in music, dance, poetry, wood carving and embroidery. The alphorna trumpet-like musical instrument made of wood, has become alongside yodeling and the accordion an epitome of traditional Swiss music. In the 18th century, French became the fashionable language in Bern and elsewhere, while the influence of the French-speaking allies and subject lands was more marked than before.

Probably the most famous Swiss literary creation, Heidithe story of an orphan girl who lives with her grandfather in the Alps, is one of the most popular children's books ever and has come to be a symbol of Switzerland. Her creator, Johanna Spyri —wrote a number of other books on similar themes. The SNA supplies almost all Swiss media and a couple dozen foreign media services with its news. The cultural diversity accounts for a large number of newspapers.

SRG SSR studios are distributed throughout the various language regions. An extensive cable network also allows most Swiss to access the programmes from neighbouring countries. The latter town hosted the second Winter Olympic Games in and the fifth edition in Among the most successful skiers and world champions are Pirmin Zurbriggen and Didier Cuche. Most prominently watched sport events in Switzerland are footballice hockeyAlpin skiing" Schwingen ", and tennis.

Actually many other headquarters of international sports federatios are to be found in Switzerland. For example, the International Olympic Committee IOCIOC's Olympic Museum and the Court of Arbitration for Sport CAS are located in Lausanne. Switzerland hosted the FIFA World Cupand was the joint host, with Austria, of the Euro tournament.

The Swiss Super League is the nation's professional football club league. The numerous lakes make Switzerland an attractive place for sailing. The largest, Lake Genevais the home of the sailing team Alinghi which was the first European team to win the America's Cup in and which successfully defended the title in Tennis has become an increasingly popular sport, and Swiss players such as Martina HingisRoger Federerand most recently, Stanislas Wawrinka have won multiple Grand Slams.

Motorsport racecourses and events were banned in Switzerland following the Le Mans disaster with exception to events such as Hillclimbing. Switzerland also won the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in —08 with driver Neel Jani. In June the Swiss National Councilone house of the Federal Assembly of Switzerlandvoted to overturn the ban, however the other house, the Swiss Council of States rejected the change and the ban remains in place. It is an old tradition from the rural central cantons and considered the national sport by some.

Hornussen is another indigenous Swiss sport, which is like a cross between baseball and golf. Practised only among the alpine population since prehistoric timesit is recorded to have taken place in Basel in the 13th century. It is also central to the Unspunnenfestfirst held inwith its symbol the The number of fine-dining establishments is high, particularly in western Switzerland.

Also a breakthrough was the invention of solid milk chocolate in by Daniel Peter. The Swiss are the world's largest consumers of chocolate. The most popular alcoholic drink in Switzerland is wine. Switzerland is notable for options mini z buggy variety of grapes grown because of the large variations in terroirswith their specific mixes of soil, air, altitude and light. Swiss wine is produced mainly in ValaisVaud LavauxGeneva and Ticinowith a small majority of white wines.

Vineyards have been cultivated in Switzerland since the Roman era, even though certain traces can be found of a more ancient origin. The most widespread varieties are the Chasselas called Fendant in Valais and Pinot noir. The Merlot is the main variety produced in Ticino. All twenty-eight member states of the European Union are also members of the WTO in their own right:.

Special administrative regions of the People's Republic of Chinaparticipates as "Hong Kong, China" and "Macao China". Officially the Republic of China, participates as " Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu ", and "Chinese Taipei" in short. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Switzerland disambiguation. For other uses, see Swiss disambiguation and Swiss Confederation disambiguation.

Alain Berset Vice President. Main article: Old Swiss Confederacy Further information: Growth of the Old Swiss ConfederacyReformation in Switzerlandand Early Modern Switzerland. Main articles: Switzerland in the Napoleonic eraHelvetic Republicand Act of Mediation. Main articles: Restoration and Regeneration Switzerland and Switzerland as a federal state. Main articles: Switzerland during the World Wars and Modern history of Switzerland. Main article: Geography of Switzerland. Contrasted landscapes between the regions of the Matterhorn and Lake Lucerne.

Main article: Voting in Switzerland. Main article: Cantons of Switzerland Main article: Foreign relations of Switzerland. Main article: Swiss Armed Forces. Main article: Economy of Switzerland See also: Banking in SwitzerlandTaxation in Switzerlandand Federal budget of Switzerland. Main articles: Education in Switzerland and Science and technology in Switzerland. Main article: Switzerland—European Union relations See also: Energy in SwitzerlandTransport in SwitzerlandWaste management in Switzerlandand Environment of Switzerland.

Main articles: Demographics of Switzerland and Swiss people Further information: List of Swiss people. Main article: Linguistic geography of Switzerland. Main article: Religion in Switzerland Main article: Culture of Switzerland See also: Music of SwitzerlandSwiss folkloreand Alpine culture. Main article: Literature of Switzerland. Main article: Media of Switzerland Main article: Sport in Switzerland.

Main article: Swiss cuisine. Due to historical federalist sensibilities, Swiss law does not designate a formal capital; and some federal institutions such as courts are located in other cities. The date of the Federal Charter of was selected in for the official celebration of the "Confederacy's th anniversary". A resolution of the Tagsatzung of 14 September specified that the powers of the institutions provided for by the Federal Treaty would expire at the time of the constitution of the Federal Councilwhich took place on 16 November Swiss law does not designate a capital as such, but the federal parliament and government are located in Bern, while the federal courts are located in other cities.

See Geography of Switzerland Western or Central Europe? Schwyz is also the standard German and international name of one of the Swiss cantons. Berne: Department Communication, University of Berne: 16— Retrieved 20 December Quartals " [Recent monthly and quarterly figures: provisional data] XLS official statistics in German, French, and Italian.

Retrieved 7 December Switzerland's population PDF official report. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter link. Report for Selected Countries and Subjects: Switzerland". Brussels, Belgium: European Commission. United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 25 March CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter link. Das politische System der Schweiz [ The Political System of Switzerland ]. Studienkurs Politikwissenschaft in German. Comparative Studies in Society and History.

London: Society for Comparative Study of Society and History. Retrieved 14 December London, UK: Mercer Consulting. Retrieved 29 April Retrieved on 25 June London: MacFarland and Co. Retrieved on 26 January Retrieved on 27 June Retrieved on 27 November Archived from the original on 26 June Retrieved 22 June It should be noticed that in valle di Lei Italy got in exchange a territory of the same area. Retrieved on 24 April Retrieved on 25 January Retrieved on 2 December International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

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Winter Holiday in Bern, Switzerland


Unofficial tourist information for this holiday resort at the foot of the Jungfrau mountain range. Lodging, maps, events, train timetable, and restaurant details.