"Switzerland...more than chocolate and swiss knife!" Switzerland by amsterdam_vallon
Switzerland Travel Guide: 14,358 reviews and 42,716 photos
Still under construction...
Switzerland may be neutral but it is certainly not flavourless. The fusion of German, French and Italian ingredients has formed a robust national culture, and the country's alpine landscapes have enough zing to reinvigorate the most jaded traveller.
Goethe summed up Switzerland succinctly as a combination of 'the colossal and the well-ordered'. You can be sure that your trains and letters will be on time. The tidy, just-so precision of Swiss towns is tempered by the lofty splendour of the landscapes that surround them.
Switzerland conjures up a fair swag of clichés: irresistible chocolates, kitsch clocks, yodelling Heidis, humourless bankers, international bureaucracies and an orderly, anally-retentive and rather bland national persona. But Harry Lime was wrong on more than one account when, in The Third Man, he said 500 years of Swiss democracy and peace had produced nothing more than the cuckoo clock. For a start, the Germans invented this monstrous timepiece; secondly, the Swiss, who are a brainy lot, have won more Nobel Prizes and registered more patents per capita than any other nation on earth.
Full country name: Swiss Confederation
Area: 41,290 sq km
Population: 7.31 million
Capital City: Bern (pop 130,000)
People: 74% German, 20% French, 4% Italian & 1% Romansch
Language: German, French, Italian, Raeto-Romance
Religion: 49% Roman Catholic & 48% Protestant
Government: federal republic
Head of State: President Pascal Couchepin
Taken from the Lonely Planet website
-58 BC Celtic Helvetians live on the plateau
58 BC-400 Roman Era
5 C Germanic Burgundians and Alemannians
6 C Frankish Kings
-14 C Fragmentation of Carolingian power. The houses of Habsburg and Savoy ruled the area of modern Switzerland
1291 The forest Communities of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden form an alliance
14 C Other communities join the Confederation: Luzern 1332, Zurich 1351, Glarus and Zug 1352, Bern 1353.
1460 Foundation of the first university of Switzerland (Basle)
1481 Fribourg and Solothurn join the Swiss Federation
1499 Switzerland gains independence from Holy Roman Empire. Territorial Expansion. Basle and Schaffhausen join the Swiss Federation 1501, Appenzell 1513.
1515 Switzerland withdraws from expansionist policies and declares neutrality
1519 Reformation starts in Zurich. Central Switzerland remains Catholic
1648 Switzerland becomes recognised as a neutral state in the Treaty of Westphalia
1798 The French invade Switzerland. The Old Confederation collapses.
1803 The new Cantons of Sankt Gallen, Graubünden, Thurgau, Ticino, Aargau and Vaud join the Federation
1815 The Congress of Vienna establishes Switzerland as a Federation and guarantees its independence and permanent neutrality. The Cantons of Geneva, Valais and Neuchatel join the Federation.
1847 Civil war. The Protestant army led by General Dufour crushes the Catholic cantons who had formed a separatist league
1848 New Federal Constitution: compromise between central control and cantonal authority. Industrialisation, railway boom, development of tourism.
1864 Foundation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva. Compulsory free education introduced.
1872-82 Construction of the railway across the alps the "Gotthardbahn"
1914-18 and 1939-45 Swiss neutrality remained unbreached.
1971 Swiss people vote for the women's suffrage.
1979 The new Canton Jura comes into being.
1992 Swiss people vote against becoming a member of the EEA (European Economic Area)
Follow this link for a more detailled Swiss history :
«Understanding Switzweland history»
That's a good question my friend !
My trip to Switzerland was base on two things :
a) See one of my university friend and
b) Doing my annual summer trip and the two were very compatible!!!
It's 21:45 EST and my Austrian Airline flight is about to start. Since there's no direct connection between Montreal and Geneva, I must take the plane from Montreal to Vienna and from Vienna to Geneva. Unbelivable, two take-off and two landing, that's so great !
After 8hours of plane (and of course...NO SLEEP) I'm in Vienna ! Almost there... 3 hours later my Tyrolean Airlines (cool name for a airlines compagny) flight is starting and I can feel that Switzerland is mine...
Finally in Geneva...after all the formalities, I look right...look left, where's my friend??? Anxious moment... and then I found her.
Okay the rest of the story is typical of everybody who is going to see someone!!! But during my stay I'd the chance to do a very good swiss exploration tour. There's a list of all the cities I'v visited during my month in the Swiss Knife country :
- Stein Am Rhein
- Chillon Castle
Soon those pages will be update for your enjoyment!
- Pros:The Lakes, the Alps, the Castles, the Chocolate and the fabulous Heidi
- Cons:The price of everything...
- In a nutshell:Oh my legs...but what a scenery
LAUSANNE tends to inspire hyperbole. In a country of spectacular natural beauty it is the most beautiful of cities,... more travel advice
GENEVA is an anomaly, the nearest thing the world has to a truly international city, and yet with nothing of the pizzazz... more travel advice
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