The Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 and attained its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. In 1874, centralised federal government was formed. It is comprised of twenty-six states called Cantons.
Switzerland's sovereignty has been recognised by the European powers, and the country did not play any role in fighting the two World Wars.
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SWITZERLAND?
Switzerland is a land of colossal mountains, Alpine lakes, verdant valleys adorned with beautiful farms and villages, and thriving cities. Switzerland portrays diverse physical and cultural boundaries of western Europe, famous for natural beauty and way of life.
HOW DOES THE NAME ORIGINATES?
Switzerland's name originates from Schwyz, one of the three founder cantons. The name Helvetia derives from a Celtic tribe called 'Helvetian' that settled in the region in the second century B.C.
Switzerland has a rough terrain and the social setting marks its diversity. It has 1,484 lakes, more than 12,900 smaller water bodies and numerous waterfalls. Switzerland also has more than 1,000 glaciers. The largest area of ice in the Valais.
The climate of Switzerland is moderate with no excessive heat, cold or humidity.
Warmest months: July and August
Coolest months: January and February
Driest months: January and February
Wettest months: May to August
Warmest areas: Lake Geneva, the Rhone valley up to Brig, and the valleys of Ticino. All low elevation areas around lakes and rivers from the West to the North East are warm as well.
Coolest areas: Places high up in the mountains
Driest areas: The Rhone Valley and the Engadine
Wettest areas: Places high up in the mountains.
Switzerland is famous for snow-capped mountains and simple people. The Alps and the Jura mountains are extended over more than half of Switzerland.
The people of Switzerland are called Swiss and its people do speak no less than four different languages. Most of the Swiss people are Christian. The Italians and French are primarily Catholic, while the Germans are either Catholic or Protestant.
The four national language of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh and official languages are German, French and Italian.
Some of the important and famous cultural performances of Switzerland are Lucerne Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and the Locarno International Film Festival held annually and are good attraction for visitors.
Because of the mountainous landscape, the country is famous for variety of sports such as skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering.
Switzerland has contributed largely towards literature, art, architecture, music and sciences.