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. Switzerland's most important economic sector is manufacturing. [69], However, access to biocapacity in Switzerland is far lower than world average. The Federal Charter of 1291 is considered the founding document of Switzerland which is celebrated on Swiss National Day. The latter town hosted the second Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and the fifth edition in 1948. The restoration of power to the patriciate was only temporary. During World War II, detailed invasion plans were drawn up by the Germans,[47] but Switzerland was never attacked. [note 1][2][1] Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Concessions reached a peak after a crucial rail link through Vichy France was severed in 1942, leaving Switzerland (together with Liechtenstein) entirely isolated from the wider world by Axis controlled territory. [251][252], Traditional sports include Swiss wrestling or "Schwingen". It became known internationally as the Protestant Rome, and housed such reformers as Theodore Beza, William Farel or Pierre Viret. [158] EU membership was a long-term objective of the Swiss government, but there was and remains considerable popular sentiment against membership, which is opposed by the conservative SVP party, the largest party in the National Council, and not currently supported or proposed by several other political parties. [214] From 1990, a steady increase can be observed, reflecting the high costs of the services provided. At the same time the syndicate for the Ennetbirgischen Vogteien located in the present Ticino met from 1513 in Lugano and Locarno. The land has a total area of 41,290 km². [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. Duden, the comprehensive German dictionary, contains about 3000 Helvetisms. The numerous lakes make Switzerland an attractive place for sailing. 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. [34], A female who died in about 200 BC was found buried in a carved tree trunk during a construction project at the Kern school complex in March 2017 in Aussersihl. 6.9% reported speaking another language at home. Over the course of the war, Switzerland interned over 300,000 refugees[49] and the International Red Cross, based in Geneva, played an important part during the conflict. The largest, Lake Geneva, is the home of the sailing team Alinghi which was the first European team to win the America's Cup in 2003 and which successfully defended the title in 2007. Hornussen is another indigenous Swiss sport, which is like a cross between baseball and golf. Being a landlocked country, Switzerland has no navy; however, on lakes bordering neighbouring countries, armed military patrol boats are used. Multilingualism is one characteristic that distinguishes Switzerland from other countries. Switzerland has an overwhelmingly private sector economy and low tax rates by Western World standards; overall taxation is one of the smallest of developed countries. Swiss wine is produced mainly in Valais, Vaud (Lavaux), Geneva and Ticino, with a small majority of white wines. The most popular alcoholic drink in Switzerland is wine. Product market liberalisation is lagging behind many EU countries according to the OECD. 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. 750-1050)-language text, Articles with disputed statements from November 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2016, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2019, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Officially the Republic of China, participates as ", This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 21:37. A sheepskin coat, a belt chain, a fancy wool dress, a scarf and a pendant made of glass and amber beads were also discovered with the woman. This initiative was mostly backed by rural (57.6% approvals) and suburban agglomerations (51.2% approvals), and isolated towns (51.3% approvals) as well as by a strong majority (69.2% approval) in the canton of Ticino, while metropolitan centres (58.5% rejection) and the French-speaking part (58.5% rejection) rather rejected it. 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. Individuals living in Switzerland speak and originate from four distinct cultures which are French, Italian, German, and Roman. 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. Radio content is produced in six central and four regional studios while the television programmes are produced in Geneva, Zürich, Basel, and Lugano. In the private sector, several companies are implicated in the space industry such as Oerlikon Space[155] or Maxon Motors[156] who provide spacecraft structures. Januar 2015): Art. But to my surprise, every train arrived exactly on time. Switzerland is not a member state of the European Union (EU). by Canton)", Switzerland in Schengen: end to passport checks, "Abstimmungen – Indikatoren, Abstimmung vom 9. [244] Winter sports are practised by the natives and tourists since the second half of the 19th century with the invention of bobsleigh in St. In 1875, a law (RS 112) fixed the compensations owed by the city of Bern for the federal seat. The application for membership of the EU was formally withdrawn in 2016, having long been frozen. These include terms from Switzerland's surrounding language cultures (German Billett[204] from French), from similar terms in another language (Italian azione used not only as act but also as discount from German Aktion). By Jardine Kinah on November 6 2018 in World Facts. It was not until more than one hundred years after these internal wars that, in 1648, under the Peace of Westphalia, European countries recognised Switzerland's independence from the Holy Roman Empire and its neutrality. [145] Switzerland has the second highest rate (almost 18% in 2003) of foreign students in tertiary education, after Australia (slightly over 18%). [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's ecosystems can be particularly fragile, because the many delicate valleys separated by high mountains often form unique ecologies. [64][66] Nevertheless, according to the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, Switzerland ranks first among 132 nations in safeguarding the environment, due to its high scores on environmental public health, its heavy reliance on renewable sources of energy (hydropower and geothermal energy), and its control of greenhouse gas emissions. The climatic, geological and topographical conditions of the alpine region make for a very fragile ecosystem that is particularly sensitive to climate change. In a surprisingly short time a group can journey to a totally different destination. The nation has not engaged in any international war with any country in the world since the year 1815 to date. The Rhône is both the main source and outflow of Lake Geneva. [110] The nominal per capita GDP is higher than those of the larger Western and Central European economies and Japan. Until 1848 the rather loosely coupled Confederation did not know a central political organisation, but representatives, mayors, and Landammänner met several times a year at the capital of the Lieu presiding the Confederal Diet for one year. 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 remainder comes from imports and overusing the global commons (such as the atmosphere through greenhouse gas emissions). 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.[50]. [111] In terms of GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power, Switzerland was ranked 5th in the world in 2018 by World Bank[112] and estimated at 9th by the IMF in 2020,[113] as well as 11th by the CIA World Factbook in 2017. The largest Swiss companies by revenue are Glencore, Gunvor, Nestlé, Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, ABB, Mercuria Energy Group and Adecco. diglossic usage of a language). 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. Modern-day Switzerland was therefore then divided between the kingdoms of Alemannia and Burgundy. The new regime, known as the Helvetic Republic, was highly unpopular. Some organisations and political parties find this practice controversial. Three of Europe's major languages are official in Switzerland. [255][256] Traditional Swiss cuisine uses ingredients similar to those in other European countries, as well as unique dairy products and cheeses such as Gruyère or Emmental, produced in the valleys of Gruyères and Emmental. [74], Direct democracy and federalism are hallmarks of the Swiss political system. Although getting a job is considered a way out of poverty, among the gainfully employed, some 4.3% are considered working poor. Switzerland was not invaded during either of the world wars. The oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. Nature Switzerland has a very varied landscape and great habitat diversity. [242] The Swiss News Agency (SNA) broadcasts information around-the-clock in three of the four national languages—on politics, economics, society and culture. Among the high valleys of the Swiss Alps many glaciers are found, totalling an area of 1,063 square kilometres (410 sq mi). The war convinced most Swiss of the need for unity and strength towards its European neighbours. [162], In 2006, Switzerland approved 1 billion francs of supportive investment in the poorer Southern and Central European countries in support of cooperation and positive ties to the EU as a whole. Book review: Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II, Halbrook, Stephen P. Switzerland, National Socialism and the Second World War, "States Formerly Possessing or Pursuing Nuclear Weapons", International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, "Swiss to vote on whether to end free movement deal with EU", "Large majority of Swiss reject bid to rein in immigration from EU, says exit poll", "STAT-TAB: Die interaktive Statistikdatenbank", "Map Gallery Switzerland: Physical Geography of Switzerland", "Switzerland reaffirms 2030 climate plan to UN, works on net zero 2050 goal", "Die Legislative ist ein Miliz-Parlament – SWI swissinfo.ch", "How direct democracy makes Switzerland a better place", "Addresses of administrative authorities", "Switzerland – Country history and economic development", "Schengen Visa Countries List – Schengen Area", "Scandale Crypto: plusieurs ministres savaient, selon la presse", "Latest spy scandal 'shatters Swiss neutrality', say papers", "Has 'Crypto Leaks' exposed Swiss neutrality as a sham? Once I left the airport in Zurich, I had braced myself for dealing with bad public transportation. It is listed 87th on the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities. ", Financial Time Executive Education Rankings – Open Programs – 2015, "Chart C3.1. The number of fine-dining establishments is high, particularly in western Switzerland. An application for membership in the European Union was sent in May 1992, but not advanced since the EEA was rejected in December 1992[42] when Switzerland was the only country to launch a referendum on the EEA. [175] Virtually 100% of the network is electrified. Her creator, Johanna Spyri (1827–1901), wrote a number of other books on similar themes. In 1541, he founded the Republic of Geneva on his own ideals. [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. However, the Congress of Vienna, which was held in 1815, reinstated the other cantons. The expansion led to increased power and wealth for the confederation. The hydrographic network includes several of the largest bodies of freshwater in Central and Western Europe, among which are included Lake Geneva (also called le Lac Léman in French), Lake Constance (known as Bodensee in German) and Lake Maggiore. A look at the latest numbers", "What people in Switzerland are addicted to", "Zurich is Europe's weekend cocaine capital", "Youth crime: more drug use, less dealing", "CC 101 Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April 1999, Art. [67] In 2020 it was ranked third out of 180 countries. Zürich became another stronghold around the same time, with Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger taking the lead there. 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. [250] It also became World Vice-Champion in 2013 and 2018. 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. GDP per hour worked is the world's 16th highest, at 49.46 international dollars in 2012.[136]. Thus on 28 November 1848, the Federal Assembly voted in majority to locate the seat of government in Berne. In 1920, Switzerland joined the League of Nations, which was based in Geneva, on condition that it was exempt from any military requirements. Switzerland is a founding member of the EFTA, but is not a member of the European Economic Area. 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