Some Interesting Facts About Switzerland

  • Switzerland has four official, national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh (spoken in the canton of Graubünden).
  • Switzerland is a federal republic. It is made up of 26 states (German names given):

  1. Appenzell Ausserrhoden;
  2. Appenzell Innerrhoden;
  3. Aargau;
  4. Basel-Landschaft;
  5. Basel-Stadt;
  6. Bern;
  7. Wallis;
  8. Waadt;
  9. Glarus;
  10. Graubünden;
  11. Genf;
  12. Solothurn;
  13. Luzern;
  14. Neuenburg;
  15. Nidwalden;
  16. Obwalden;
  17. Sankt Gallen;
  18. Tessin;
  19. Thurgau;
  20. Uri;
  21. Freiburg;
  22. Zug;
  23. Zürich;
  24. Schaffhausen;
  25. Schwyz;
  26. Jura.
  • There are many foreigners living in Switzerland.
  • Chocolate production is one of the most important industries in Switzerland.
  • Switzerland is home to more than 450 types of cheese.
  • In Switzerland it is forbidden to keep only one guinea pig at home. Guinea pigs must be kept in groups of two or more. This rule applies to all paired animals (animals living in pairs that create pairs during their lifetime).
  • The amount of the fine (e.g. for speeding) is calculated according to the income level of the offender.
  • About 70% of Switzerland is mountainous with 208 mountains above 3,000 metres and 24 mountains above 4,000 metres.
  • There are more than 1,500 lakes in Switzerland. In this regard, no matter where in Switzerland you are, the nearest lake will always be no more than 16 kilometers away. 60% of electricity is generated by hydroelectric power plants.
  • Schweiz, Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Switzerland, Suisse, Svizzera… Where did the abbreviation “CH”, often found in abbreviations, come from? The official Latin name of the country is “Confoederatio Helvetica”. It is from “Confoederatio Helvetica” that the abbreviation CH comes, for example, in the names of Swiss websites (.ch) or as an international abbreviation for a country name (for example, Ukraine – UA or UKR, Russia – RU or RUS, Switzerland – CH).
  • Switzerland has long been known for its banking secrecy. However, today the tax authorities of European countries upon request receive information about the owners of accounts in Swiss banks.
  • The teaching profession in Switzerland is highly paid.
  • There is no official state capital in Switzerland. At the time of its founding, the question arose: Does the country need a capital? And if so, which city should be the capital? In the end, a compromise was reached: Bern became the “federal capital”, and important state institutions such as the federal government, the federal assembly and the federal administration are located there. Bern is the de facto capital of Switzerland, but it is not legally designated as the state capital.
  • There is no head of state in Switzerland. There is a Bundesrat, which comprises seven members of government. The Bundesrat is the head of state.
  • There is a conscription obligation for men in Switzerland. The conscription age is 17 – 25 years. After service soldiers can keep firearms at home (in case the army needs to mobilize soon). It is estimated that there are between 2 to 4 million firearms for every 8 million Swiss citizens. In spite of this, Switzerland is a very safe country. Its crime rate is one of the lowest in the world.

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