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Switzerland (German die Schweiz, French la Suisse, Italian Svizzera, Roman Svizra), the official name of the Swiss Confederation (German Schweizerische Eclassgenossenschaft, French Confederation suisse, Italian Confederazione Svizzera, the name comes from the name Confederazi svizra) the canton of Schwyz, formed from the Old German "burn". The state has no outlet to the sea. The capital of Switzerland is Bern. The largest city in this country is Zurich - the center of the canton of the same name.
Switzerland is located in Central Europe and is bordered by Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy. Switzerland is a federal republic and in 1999 a new constitution was adopted. The country is subdivided into twenty-three cantons. The federal authorities are in charge of many important issues. The bicameral parliament is the highest legislative body in Switzerland. The president is the head of state.
There are several official languages in Switzerland: German, Italian, French Romansh. As for the latter, it is recognized as official only for communication with native speakers of this language. The monetary unit of Switzerland is the Swiss franc. Catholics are approximately 48% of the total population of the country, 46% identify themselves as Protestants, and another 6% profess other religions. The main river in Switzerland is the Rhine. Switzerland is two hours behind Moscow time.
Most of Switzerland is covered with mountains. The territory of Switzerland is subdivided into 3 natural regions. These are the Jura mountains (in the north of the country), the Alps (in the south) and the Swiss plateau (in the center of the state). Interestingly, only the Alps (mountainous area) occupy more than 60% of the country's territory.
Switzerland has a continental climate. True, in accordance with different altitudes above sea level, significant fluctuations are characteristic of it. The average winter temperature in the Swiss valleys tends to zero, and in the mountainous regions it can reach -10 ° C and below. The average summer temperature in the valleys is approximately + 18-20 ° C, in the mountainous regions it is slightly lower. A fairly large part of precipitation falls in the form of snow - in the winter season. In the Alps - at an altitude of 1.5 thousand meters or more - precipitation in the form of snow pellets is typical even in May-June. The unusual climate of Switzerland lies in the fact that each region of this country can boast of its own unique landscape and climate. Surprisingly, we can say that in Switzerland the Arctic lives next to the tropics. In this country, both mosses and lichens grow, as well as mimosas and palms.
Switzerland's history dates back to the thirteenth century. Or rather, at the end of this century - in 1291. It was then that the cantons of Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden joined forces to fight the Habsburgs. The "Union for Forever" was intended to counter the aspirations of the Habsburgs to completely control the approaches to the Saint Gotthard Pass. The latter was the most important land route in Europe in the Middle Ages. By the way, the name of the country - Switzerland - comes from the name of one of the cantons that entered into the above union: from the canton of Schwyz. A little later - in the following years - neighboring lands were annexed to the union. Some joined it voluntarily, some were forced. The first Swiss Constitution was adopted in 1848. She proclaimed Switzerland a federal state. This was once again confirmed in the Swiss Constitution of 1874.
Switzerland is a truly amazing country. Occupying such a small area (its area is only 41,293.2 square kilometers, which roughly corresponds to a ninth of the area of Germany), Switzerland has absorbed all the most attractive: stunning natural masterpieces and no less amazing creations of human hands. In this state, traces of different civilizations, their cultural and historical heritage coexist perfectly. For example, an amphitheater for ten thousand visitors will remind tourists of the Romans. In the Swiss cities of Lausanne, Geneva, Basel and some others, the tourist will discover Gothic and Romanesque architectural monuments. A large number of pilgrims from all over the world gathers the fortress of Castello di Montebello, which has survived to this day, which dates back to the Renaissance. The churches of Arlesheim, Kreuzlingen, as well as the Engelberg and Einsiedeln monasteries are presented in the Baroque style. A curious tourist can find a lot of interesting things in this country.
Switzerland is rich in sights. In this regard, it is very interesting to get acquainted with the city of Schaffhausen. Its architectural appearance is mainly represented by the Rococo and Baroque styles. Many ancient buildings that date back to the late Gothic times have survived to this day. The same city is proud of its ancient fortress Munot. You can climb to it along a beautiful path, paved with stones. The city of St. Gallen is famous in Switzerland, which is the center of Eastern Switzerland. This city appeared thanks to the Irish monk Gallus. Legend has it that a bear helped the monk to build St. Gallen. The latter became a symbol of the city - its image is captured on the coat of arms of St. Gallen. Architectural monuments (made in the Baroque style) are the famous cathedral of this city and the monastery library.
Lucerne has the appearance of a medieval city. This city appears to be the main city of Central Switzerland. Since 1400, the Muzegmauer fortress wall has stood in Lucerne, with a total length of 870 meters. The same city is famous for the first significant building of the Baroque era in the history of the country - the Jesuitenkirche. History lovers can visit museums in Switzerland, of which there are an incredible 600. The most famous and frequently visited are the Swiss Historical Museum, which is located in the city of Zurich, as well as the art museums of Zurich, Geneva, Bern and Basel.
Switzerland boasts a wealth of natural attractions. A tourist traveling to Eastern Switzerland will have the opportunity to see the extraordinarily beautiful Rhine Falls. This falls is one of the most mesmerizing beauties in Switzerland. The average flow rate of the Rhine Falls is 1100 m3 per second. Schaffhausen is a city located in the immediate vicinity of this waterfall.
Eastern Switzerland is rich in colorful floral carpets. These are beautiful alpine rose, saxifrage, edelweiss and others. The flowers of perennial shrubs and grasses are brightly colored, they (like the plants themselves) are fragrant.
Central Switzerland is proud of its Mount Pilatus. Its height is 2120 meters. It is located not far - just ten kilometers - from Lucerne. The city itself, surrounded by mountains, is nestled at Lake Lucerne.
Western Switzerland will amaze the tourist with its famous mountain wonder, which has become a symbol of the entire country. We are talking about the Matterhorn mountain, whose height reaches 4478 meters. This mountain is shaped like a pyramid. Many climbers have chosen the Matterhorn Mountain.
The canton of Wallis, a deep valley (130 kilometers deep), is another natural masterpiece of Western Switzerland. The most beautiful valley is located among the alpine chain.
Switzerland has many world-famous lakes. One of them is the famous Lake Geneva. The city of Lausanne is located next to it. It is also notable for the fact that it whimsically combines the colors of antiquity and modernity. The narrow streets of the historical center organically merge with the modernly furnished quarters. In addition to wonderful views of Lake Geneva, locals and vacationers can contemplate the mountain ranges of the Alps.
Switzerland is attractive for ski tourists. In this country, lovers of extreme recreation will feel comfortable thanks to the wonderful arrangement of the slopes. There are approximately 140 ski centers in Switzerland. Many of them are ranked among the best ski resorts in the world. Some of them are: Saas-Fee, Zermatt, San Moritz, Davos, Villars, Grindelwald and others. Saas-Fee resort is called "the pearl of the Alps". This is one of the highest mountain resorts in the state. The city of Saas-Fee is surrounded by quaint mountains that are covered with glaciers. The natural beauty gives this city an extraordinary flavor. And since Saas-Fee is a fairly young ski resort in the country, the cost of living here is relatively low. Zermatt is a prestigious resort in Switzerland. The city is located at the very foot of the famous Matterhorn mountain. It is also interesting that the only modes of transport in this resort are horse-drawn carts and electric cars. So Zermatt is freed from the mass congestion of cars.
Switzerland is renowned for its rich cultural life. It is, in fact, very diverse. Absolutely each of the major cities of this country can boast of its own theater and symphony orchestra. Popular are the Opera House in Zurich, the Basel City Theater, and the Grand Theater in Geneva.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world. Switzerland belongs to the highly developed industrial states of the world. Agriculture in this country is highly productive. The competitiveness of the Swiss economy allows this country to be included in the top ten countries in the world for this indicator. This state is economically closely connected with the countries of the European Union (they account for 80 to 85% of all trade) and the rest of the outside world.
Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world. This country is one of the most significant financial and banking centers in the world. There are about four thousand financial institutions operating in Switzerland. The bulk of the country's population lives well. After all, this state in the economy is oriented not towards the export of raw materials, but towards the production of high-tech products. Switzerland is renowned for its highly educated professionals. Statistics show that the average annual income of one Swiss resident is $ 38,380.
Switzerland provides an excellent education. The glory of the leading role in the international education system has been entrenched in this country. In private schools in Switzerland, about one hundred thousand pupils and students from the country itself and many other countries are trained. After receiving higher education in Swiss universities, a significant part of graduates are successfully employed in their chosen specialty.
Switzerland is a country with impeccable service. And Switzerland is proud of this reputation and values it. Even the simplest cafe or bar is spotlessly clean. The visitor will definitely feel comfortable here, he will really be surrounded by warmth. In Switzerland there are a lot of different sports complexes and equipped recreation facilities. With Swiss precision (as in the famous clock) trains arrive at the stations, people come to meetings. And climbing to the top of the mountains (of which there are more than enough in Switzerland) will not provide any effort. Switzerland possesses modern mining engineering technology. So the tourist will only have to enjoy the view that will open to them from the highest mountains. Will capture the spirit - that's for sure!
Swiss cuisine has many of its own delicacies. She is recognized by gourmets all over the world. Swiss chocolate is especially popular. It is one of the prides of this small state. Swiss chocolate travels to other countries under the motto "Made in Switzerland". An interesting fact is that Switzerland has the largest consumption of chocolate per capita. It is four times larger than the Russian one and amounts to twelve kilograms per year. The Swiss know a lot about chocolate. The Swiss desserts "huhli" and "krepflie" are also famous all over the world.
In general, Swiss cuisine has absorbed the culinary traditions of many peoples living in Switzerland. These are Italian, French, German traditions. Swiss cuisine is distinguished by an abundance of fermented milk products and cheese. Meat and various spices are of great importance here. Bernes platter is very popular. It consists of fried pieces of pork and beef flavored with sauerkraut or green beans. The dish "lyurich leshnetzeltes" is not far behind. It is based on thinly sliced pieces of veal in a sauce.
Switzerland is famous for its cheese production. The variety of this product in Switzerland is simply amazing. But there is a reasonable explanation for this. The fact is that the traditions of cheese production in this state have a long history. The technology for the production of each type of cheese has long been passed down from generation to generation; the quality has improved. A distinguishing feature of the cheeses produced in Switzerland is the fact that each type of cheese is sold under its own brand. This trademark in most cases has a name associated with the place of origin. The most famous cheeses are: Emmental, Appenzell, Gruyere, Tête de Moine, Tilsit, Sbrinz and others. Most of the cheeses in Switzerland are hard or semi-hard. This is due to the long Swiss winters, which are accompanied by the difficulty of communication between the cantons (due to the abundance of snowfall).
The Swiss have a special relationship with cheese. Someone loves hard, someone semi-hard, and someone soft. On a festive (or just ordinary) table, one family will have cheese cut into thin slices, another - made in the shape of flowers, and the third - cut into cubes. Even the most traditional dish in Switzerland is "cheese fondue". It is a Gruyere or Emmental cheese that is melted in white wine and seasoned with spices. This popular dish is served hot with slices of white bread. The latter are dipped in cheese. Racclete is another popular Swiss dish. Toasted cheese forms the basis of this dish. It is served with potatoes and cucumbers.
Swiss watches are known all over the world. Swiss watches are renowned for their quality. Swiss wrist watches are both a skillful mechanism and, in many cases, a piece of jewelry. Precision and beauty are organically combined with each other. Exclusive models are made to order only.
Switzerland is made up of customs and traditions. At least, this is the impression one gets after visiting this state. Many traditions are local in nature. For example, in the northeastern part of Switzerland there is a tradition of celebrating both the New Year and the "Old New Year", and it is quite unusual. On the night of the old new year, it is easy to spot people wandering around the village fields with rather bizarre structures on their heads. Among them are respectable people who have earned a good reputation for themselves. But what can you do about tradition?
The Swiss calendar is the rhythm of life. It's not just 365 or 366 days a year. This is 365 or 366 days a year, each of which is assigned either an event (important or not), or a function. For example, the month is February. A month rich in snow. A two-week "sports vacation" begins in schools; many Swiss ski. February is characterized by the following events: Shrovetide, carnival, and the eve of Lent. During Shrovetide week you can see the Swiss not only in masks, but also dressed "somehow". The latter, however, defies discussion. Festivities, celebrations, games and the like decorate this week with unique colors. Carnival week is simply not supposed to sleep long. Wake up - 5 am. If he didn’t get up himself, then someone will come and wake him up: it’s not supposed, it’s not supposed to be. This whole ceremony is accompanied by noise.
The Swiss holiday "zeksilyute", which is celebrated in Zurich, is quite remarkable.The first half of the day, the working population spends at their workplaces, but the second half of the day is spent on the streets of the city. This holiday is celebrated on one of the Mondays and is associated with an increase in the length of the day. During the celebrations, paper figures of snowmen are burned in the squares.
In the summer months, no city in Switzerland can be without holidays. Celebrations are often related to the harvest in some way. But Christmas is a calm holiday. The family gathers at home and spends the evening at the festive table. You are not supposed to make noise and dress up exquisitely.
Swiss folk music has not spread worldwide. The musical folklore of this country is mainly in the "hoodiegegeller" style. His melodies are most often performed by a trio using double bass, clarinet and accordion. An interesting fact is that the "hoodiegeller" genre is represented by only three melodies. But this does not bother the Swiss themselves at all. After all, this music is its own, national, and not alien, not foreign.
The Swiss are hospitable people. He is also very calm, hardworking, respecting the traditions and laws of his country. Therefore, when visiting Switzerland, a tourist must remember that he is a guest in this country, not a host.