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Switzerland (Part 1) | Amazing Facts

 

Switzerland Amazing Facts 4u part 1

65  Awesome Facts about Switzerland  | Amazing Facts 4U

Land &  Geography
  • Switzerland has mountains and glaciers of great beauty, blue lakes, waterfalls and  beautiful valleys. Switzerland is always beautiful in any season.
  • Switzerland is in fact the smallest country in Europe with an area of 41,283 square kilometers.
  • Switzerland has the largest population in Europe per square mile than any other country.
  • Switzerland is surrounded by 5 countries: France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Liechtenstein.
  • Switzerland population is about 8 million. Swiss provinces are called “cantons.”
  • Zurich is the largest city with a population of 3,80,000.
  • Foreigners account for around 23 percent of the population in Switzerland.
  • Nearly 70% of this land is covered in mountains with the Swiss Alps covering around 60% of the total mountainous area. This makes Switzerland the second-most alpine country after Austria.
  • There are 208 mountains over 3,000 mtr high and 24 over 4,000 mtr. The highest is Monte Rosa at 4,634 mtr (15,203 ft), however the Matterhorn (4,478 mtr or 14,692 ft) is the most famous.
  • Switzerland has more than 1,500 lakes.
  • In Switzerland you are never more than 10 miles from a lake!
  • The capital of Switzerland is Bern which is one of the most architecturally rich cities in all of Europe.
  • Fact is Switzerland is abbreviated to ‘CH’ because of its Latin name, ‘Confoederatio Helvetica.’ Latin is the third most prevalent language even though not much spoken. It is found in stamps and coins.
  • The German township of Büsingen am Hochrhein is entirely surrounded by Switzerland.
History
  • Apart from occupation by Napoleon’s France between 1798 and 1815 Switzerland has been an independent country since the year 1499.
  • There was a war in Switzerland in 1802 called Stecklikrieg that was fought out with wooden clubs because Napoleon had taken away their weapons.
  • In most major wars Switzerland has always declared neutrality not willing to get involved in world politics or affairs. It was due to neutrality during WW2 that thousands of people deposited their hard-earned money in Switzerland. When the depositors died, the relatives were denied any access to their funds.
  • In spite of neutrality , it is believed that they also funnelled hundreds of millions into Nazi Germany.
  • The country of Liechtenstein is so small that in 2007, Swiss troops 170 in number accidentally invaded it after getting lost in a rainstorm in the neighbouring country.
Places / Architecture
  • The Sonneberg driving tunnel a part of highway also serves as the biggest bomb shelter in the World which can shelter 20,000 people.
  • Switzerland will have the world’s longest tunnel , the Gotthard base (57 km) to be commissioned in 2017.
  • The Gotthard base will be free as charges are included in the annual fee for the use of highways of the country.
  • Amazing fact is Lac Leman ( Lake Geneva) contains more than 40 shipwrecks including four railway cars from the mid to late 1800’s!
  • Matterhorn, the most famous mountain has became a symbol of Switzerland having a height of 4478 meters. It resembles a pyramid and is a favourite destination for climbers and tourists.
  • The longest glacier (14 miles) in Alps is found here in Switzerland which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Canton Valais  is one of the star attractions of Switzerland being 130 Km long deep valley in the middle of the Alpine mountains.
  • Zurich has 1224 fountains with crystal clear drinking water!
  • The clock of St. Peter’s Church in Zürich is the largest church clock face in Europe. Amazingly it is even bigger than Big Ben’s.
  • Geneva is the seat of the European headquarters of United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), World Economic Forum (WEF), Airports Council International (ACI), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) & World Wide Web Virtual Library.
  • CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, is based in Geneva and sitting in the ground under it spanning the Swiss/French border is the Large collider that physicists are using for experiments on particles.
  • Switzerland has the highest train station (Jungfraujoch at 11,330 feet) in the whole of Europe.
  • It also has the steepest cogwheel station in the world (48% incline).
  • It has the highest man-made cement dam in the world called the Grande Dixence (935 feet).
  • It is also home to the longest pedestrian stairs in the world , Niesen stairs (11,674 in number).
  • Switzerland has 63,577 km of walking paths.
  • Switzerland is the only country in the world to have hiking trails which are more than 1 km for each square km of area.
  • In Switzerland there are 600 museums, the most important of which is the Landes museum in Zurich.
  • In the Swiss city Zermatt , petrol and diesel cars are completely barred. Only electric cars are allowed.
 People
  • Switzerland has the second highest life expectancy in the world (after Japan).
  • The major religion in Switzerland is catholic followed by protestant.
  • The spoken languages are: German (Spoken by 74 % People) , French, Italian, Romanisch (spoken by less than 1 %).
  • You will find every person speaking at least one foreign language , French or English.
  • The most common Swiss surname is Müller.
  • In Switzerland, the children go to school from 4 years old. Students learn 4 days a week (Wednesday is off).
  • In Switzerland, the education is free, for the foreigners too. Private schools are expensive.
  • People love of cleanliness. Swiss citizens can be found to clean streets with the vacuum cleaners!
  • There is a system of garbage disposal. Rubbish can be disposed of only in special paid bags. People must sort the garbage in various containers. For each of containers there is a separate schedule of export. You can throw out your old clothes and shoes just once in three months.
  • Switzerland has the highest consumption of soft drinks in the world!
  • Amazingly the average Swiss eats 12 Kg lbs of chocolate per year compared to the 5 Kg consumed by Americans.
  • People always hold a knife in one hand and a fork in the other while eating.
  • The thumb is used to indicate 1 when counting with fingers. Thus, if you want to ask for one of something, only hold up the thumb. If you hold up the index finger, you will most likely get two items.
  • Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialised countries, despite having liberal gun laws (2.3–4.5 million guns in a population of 8 million). There is only 0.5 gun murders per 100,000 people compared to 5 per 100,000 in the US.
  • Homes are too expensive in Switzerland. Only one quarter own their own homes. Most homes have bunkers, a result of the Cold War concerns of nuclear war.
  • A lawyer in Switzerland represents animals in court. He has even prosecuted a fisherman for taking too long to catch a Pike.
  • Amazing fact is when you leave a job,  it is customary that you, yourself, organize a going away party. In the US, your friends/co workers do this.
  • Amazingly people have actually been known to vote in favour of tax increases.
  • In Switzerland, there are no stray dogs and cats on the streets.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle brought skiing to Switzerland.
  • A Swiss Jeweller made a $68 million ring that was made entirely out of diamond.
Famous People
  • Charlie Chaplin died in Switzerland in 1976 and they erected the first statue in his honour. He was one of the first outside comedians that the Switzerland population loved.
  • Charlie Chaplin’s corpse was stolen by a small group of Swiss mechanics in an attempt to extort money from Chaplin’s family. After retrieving his body, he was reburied under 6 feet (1.8 m) of concrete to prevent further attempts.
  • Amazingly Dalai Lama owns the smallest vineyard in the world, which is located in Switzerland. It consists of only three vines and has an area of 1.67 meters squared.
  • The first “Bond Girl” Ursula Andress was Swiss.
  • There is only one Swiss astronaut named Claude Nicollier.
  • Two famous tennis players ,Roger Federer and Martina Hingis are from Switzerland.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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