About Switzerland :
Switzerland is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe, where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.
Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between theAlps, the Central Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of theterritory, the Swiss population of pproximately 7.8 million people concentrates mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found. Among them are the two global cities and economic centres of Zurich and Geneva.
Switzerland comprises three main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, and Italian, to which the Romansh-speaking valleys are added. The Swiss therefore do not form a nation in the sense of a common ethnic or linguistic identity. The strong sense of belonging to the country is founded on the common historical background, shared values (federalism, direct democracy, neutrality)and Alpine symbolism.The establishment of the Swiss Confederation is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291; Swiss National Day is celebrated on the
Geography of switzerland :
Switzerland lies between latitudes 45° and 48° N, and longitudes 5° and 11° E. It contains three basic topographical areas: the Swiss Alps on the south, the Central Plateau or middleland, and the Jura mountains on the north. The Alps are a high mountain range running across the central-south of the country, comprising about 60% of the country's total area. Among the high valleys of the Swiss Alps many glaciers are found, totalling an area of 1,063 square kilometres. From these originate the headwaters of several major rivers, such as the Rhine, Inn, Ticino and Rhone, which flow in the four cardinal directions into the whole of Europe. The hydrographic network includes several of the largest bodies of freshwater in Central and Western Europe, among which are included Lake Geneva, Lake Constance and Lake Maggiore. Switzerland has more than 1500 lakes, and contains 6% of Europe's stock of fresh water. Lakes and glaciers cover about 6% of the national territory.
The more populous northern part of the country, comprising about 30% of the country's total area, is called the Middle Land. 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.The largest lake is Lake Geneva (also called Lac Léman in French), in western Switzerland. The Rhone River is both the main input and output of Lake Geneva.
Climate of switzerland :
The Swiss climate is generally temperate, but can vary greatly between the localities,from glacial conditions on the mountaintops to the often pleasant near Mediterranean climate at Switzerland's southern tip. Summers tend to be warm and humid at times with periodic rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing. The less humid winters in the mountains may see long intervals of stable conditions for weeks, while the lower lands tend to suffer from inversion, during this periods, thus seeing no sun for weeks.
year with no strict and predictable periods.
Economy of switzerland:
strongest currencies with the lowest inflation rate (rising to an estimated 0.7% for 2011).
If adjusted for purchasing power parity, Switzerland ranks sixteenth in the world for GDP per capita.The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report currently ranks Switzerland's economy as the most competitive in the world.For much of the 20th century, Switzerland was the wealthiest country in Europe by a considerable margin. In 2010,the Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse Research Institute found that Switzerland has the highest average wealth per adult at $372,692,followed by Norway, Australia and Singapore at $326,530, $320,909 and $255,488 respectively, with wealth defined by the value of financial and non-financial (such as real estate) assets.In 2005 the median household income in Switzerland was an estimated 95,000 CHF, the equivalent of roughly 100,000 USD (as of December 2010) in nominal terms.
Switzerland is home to several large multinational corporations. The largest Swiss companies by revenue are Glencore, Nestlé, Novartis,Hoffmann-La Roche, ABB and Adecco. Also notable are UBS AG, Zurich Financial Services, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re, and The Swatch Group.Switzerland is ranked as having one of the most powerful economies in the world.
Chemicals, health and pharmaceutical, measuring instruments, musical instruments, real estate, banking and insurance, tourism, and international organisations are important industries in Switzerland.The largest exported goods are chemicals (34% of exported goods),machines/electronics (20.9%), and precision instruments/watches (16.9%).Exported services amount to a third of exported goods.
Switzerland has an overwhelmingly private sector economy and low tax rates by the Western World standards; overall taxation is one of the smallest of developed countries. Switzerland is an easy place to do business; Switzerland ranks 21st of 178 countries in the Ease of Doing Business Index. The slow growth Switzerland experienced in the 1990s and the early 2000s has brought greater support for economic reforms and harmonisation with the European Union.According to Credit Suisse,only about 37% of residents own their own homes, one of the lowest rates of home ownership in Europe. Housing and food price levels were 171% and 145% of the EU-25 index in 2007, compared to 113% and 104% in Germany.
Agricultural protectionism—a rare exception to Switzerland's free trade olicies—has contributed to high food prices. Product market liberalisation is lagging behind many EU countries according to the OECD.Nevertheless, domestic purchasing power is one of the best in the world.Apart from agriculture, economic and trade barriers between the European Union and Switzerland are minimal and Switzerland has free trade agreements worldwide. Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association
Culture of switzerland :
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. Some 1000 museums are distributed through the country; the number has more than tripled since 1950.Among the most important cultural performances held annually are the Lucerne Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Locarno International Film Festival.
Sports in Switzerland:
Transport in Switzerland:
Nearly all of the Swiss standard gauge railways are part of the nationwide SBB-CFF-FFS (Swiss Federal Railways) system, which also includes affiliated standard gauge lines such as BLS (Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon). In addition numerous narrow gauge railways are operated, the largest company of its kind being the Rhaetian Railways. In total 5,100 km of rail network are used.
The Swiss Federal Railways run some 5000 passenger trains covering approximately 274,000 kilometres daily, half of which are trains operated by long distance services the other half being regional and suburban services. In 2008, 322 million passengers used the Swiss Federal Railways.
Trains cannot climb steep gradients, so it is necessary to build lot of track in order to gain height gradually. Transversals through the Alps were made possible with the use of hidden circular tunnels, which are called Spiral. In the case of extremely mountainous terrain, railway engineers opted for the more economical narrow gauge construction.
The many railway viaducts of the Rhaetian railways in the canton of Graubünden, built for the most part in the early 20th century, have become a tourist attraction as well as a necessary transport system, drawing rail enthusiasts from all over the world.
Some railways were built only for tourist purposes as the Gornergrat or the Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest station in the Bernese Oberland, at an altitude of 3,454 metres (11,330 ft.).
Rail transport in Switzerland also include car and truck transportation service (German: Autoverlad). But for private cars it is limited in some mountainous areas where the passes are closed in winter or simply does not exist (Lötschberg).
Switzerland has a network of two-lane national roads. These roads usually lack a median or central reservation. Some stretches are controlled-access, in that all traffic must enter and exit through ramps and must cross using grade separations.
Two of the important motorways are the A1, running from St. Margrethen in northeastern Switzerland's canton of St. Gallen through to Geneva in southwestern Switzerland, and the A2, running from Basel in northwestern Switzerland to Chiasso in southern Switzerland's canton of Ticino, using the Gotthard Road Tunnel.
Autobahn (plural: Autobahnen) is the German name; in French-speaking Switzerland they are known as autoroutes (singular: autoroute), and in Italian-speaking Switzerland they are known as autostrade. Swiss motorways have general speed limits of 120 km/h (75 mph).
The four linguistic regions of Switzerland (German, French, Italian and Romansh (spoken almost uniquely in Graubünden Canton) each provide some special dishes, most of which can be found throughout Switzerland.
Hotels in switzerland:
- Nh Geneva Airport Hotel
- Ramada Encore Geneva
- Drake & Longchamp Geneva
- Royal Manotel Hotel
- Best Western Astoria Hotel
- Swissotel International Zurich
- Nh Zurich Airport Hotel
- Marriott Zurich Hotel
- Wellenberg Swiss Quality
- Montana Hotel
- Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage
- Merkur Hotel & Restaurant Interlaken
- Metropole Swiss Quality Interlaken Hotel
- City Oberland Swiss Quality Hotel
- Helvetie Hotel
Map of Switzerland
Pictures of Switzerland: