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Adventures

Regions

The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity.
Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public traffic.


Zurich Region

Zurich is top for leisure and pleasure. Gentle hills, peaceful woods, the unpolluted lakes and rivers, picturesque villages - and all just a stone's throw from the Alps. Zürich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of varied excursions.

Basel Region

The fascinating city. Encounter the best of modern art and architecture at every step. Savour cherries fresh from nearby orchards and asparagus from the Alsace. West of Switzerland

Valais

Finding, enjoying, understanding. Balmly summer warmth bathes the valley. Water gurgles from pond to pond in pine forests and vineyards.

Fribourg / Neuchâtel / Jura / Jura Bernois

From the Jura range to the pre-Alpine hills. Vast elevated plains punctuated with fir trees in lush pastures, farm buildings of light-coloured Jura limestone. - the Jura region is a giant park created by Nature herself, bordering France to the north and crossed by deep canyons to the south.

Lake Geneva Region

One region, four worlds. They came, saw... and stayed. Courbet, Kokoschka, Charlie Chaplin and David Bowie are among those who settled at Lake Geneva, attracted, no doubt, by the Alpine panorama and almost Mediterranean vegetation.

Geneva Region

The world's smallest metropolis. Cosmopolitan Geneva - a world of its own, a world for everyone, quite apart from the rest of Switzerland.

Eastern Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

Eastern Switzerland stretches from the shimmering waters of Lake Constance across the hilly Appenzellerland to the Alpine landscapes of Toggenburg, the Heidiland holiday region and the Glarnerland. Far off in the Rhine Valley is Vaduz with its princes' castle.

Graubünden

Alpine valleys descending from high mountains. Rivers in every conceivable direction. German, Romansh and Italian in a single canton.

Central Switzerland

Unlimited freedom. Switzerland was born when the good people of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden formed an alliance at the Rütli. Here, in Central Switzerland, is the Schöllenen Bridge which made north-south travel across the Gotthard range possible, and here, in 1871, Europe?s first cog railroad up to Rigi marked the beginning of tourism as we know it.

Schweizer Mittelland

Simply grand. A slight haze tints quiet rivers with subtle pastel hues. Impressively vast roofs shelter prosperous Emmental farmhouses..

Bernese Oberland

Where nature and holidays come together. Waterfalls crash down sheer cliff sides. Glacier-fed creeks force their way through th narrow Rosenlaui and Aare canyons.

Ticino

The Italian flair of Switzerland. The Mediterranean region seems to begin on the southern side of the Alps. There is a feel of Italy, with palm trees at clean beaches and lanes and alleyways leading to piazzas and churches.

More about Switzerland's regions and destinations
 
 
 

At A Glance

The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity. Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public transportation.
Capital City: Berne  
Major Cities: Baden, Basel, Bellinzona, Bern, Biel, Brig, Chur, Fribourg, Genève, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne, Locarno, Lugano, Luzern, Martigny, Montreux-Vevey, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Sierre, Sion, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Zug, Zürich
Bordering Countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein
Inhabitants: about 7.7 Millions
Flag: flag
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch
Climate: Because of its central position, the weather is influenced by the four main European air currents - from the Atlantic, the eastern continent, the northern subpolar region and the Mediterranen south. The climate is temperate on the Central Plateau, otherwise it differs considerably from region to region.
Landforms: Alps and Pre-Alps cover 60%, Central Plateau 30% and Jura 10% of the country.
Land Area: 41,284 km2


Switzerland Stats

Area:
41,293 sq km / 15,936 sq mi

Distance: North to South 220 km / 137 mi.
East to West 348 km / 216 mi.

Length of frontier:
1,881 km 1,168 mi.
Switzerland borders France in the West, Germany in the north, Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein in the east and Italy in the south.

Landscape:
3 main types of landscape - the Swiss Alps, the hilly Swiss Mittelland, which extends from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva, and the Swiss Jura, a long line of rugged fold mountains.

Highest Peaks:
Dufourspitze (Valais): 4,634 m / 15,203 ft
Dom (Valais): 4,545 m / 14,911 ft
Weisshorn (Valais): 4,506 m / 14,793 ft
Matterhorn (Valais): 4,478 m / 14,691 ft

Largest Glacier (Surface):
Aletsch (Valais): 117 sq km / 73 sq ml.
Length 24 km / 15 mi.
Glaciers in total 140

Largest Lakes:
Lake Geneva: 582 sq km / 223 sq mi.
Lake Constance: 539 sq km / 208 sq mi.
Lake Neuchâtel: 218 sq km / 83 sq mi.
Lake Maggiore: 212 sq km / 82 sq mi.
Lake Lucerne: 114 sq km / 44 sq mi.
Lake Zurich: 88 sq km / 35 sq mi.
Lakes in total 1,484

Highest Village:
Juf (Graubunden): 2,126 m / 7,000 ft

Lowest Village:
Ascona (Ticino): 196 m / 690 ft

Largest Cities:
Zurich  366,445
Geneva  177,500
Basel  165,000
Bern  131,600
Lausanne  129,273
Capital:
Berne

Population:
8 million

Population density:
188 per sq. km

Government:
Parliamentary Federal State since 1848, Direct democracy

Cantons:
20 full cantons, 6 half cantons

Kanton Aargau Aargau Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden Appenzell Ausserrhoden Kanton Appenzell Innerrhoden Appenzell Innerrhoden
Kanton Basel-Landschaft Basel-Landschaft Kanton Basel-Stadt Basel-Stadt Kanton Bern Bern
Canton De Fribourg Fribourg Canton De Geneva Geneva Kanton Glarus Glarus
Kanton Graubünden Graubünden Canton De Jura Jura Kanton Lucerne Lucerne
Canton De Neuchâtel Neuchâtel Kanton Nidwalden Nidwalden Kanton Obwalden Obwalden
Kanton Schaffhausen Schaffhausen Kanton Schwyz Schwyz Kanton Solothurn Solothurn
Kanton St.Gallen St.Gallen Kanton Thurgau Thurgau Cantone Ticino Ticino
Kanton Uri Uri Canton Valais Valais Canton Vaud Vaud
Kanton Zug Zug Kanton Zürich Zürich

Languages:
(Swiss) German (64%), French (20%), Italian (7%), Romansch (1%), others (8%)

Religions: Catholic (42%), Protestant (35%), others (23%)
 
Travel Resources / myswitzerland.com Interests
Travel Digest / swissinfo.ch
SWI swissinfo.ch - swiss news and information platform about Switzerland, business, culture, sport, weather. swissinfo covers Switzerland from every angle in English with news and up-to-date information for a worldwide audience.
Culture - SWI swissinfo.ch
  • Support wanes for abolition of public broadcast fee
    A proposal to scrap the mandatory licence fee for services of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has lost more ground, according to a major opinion poll. The survey, published on Wednesday ahead of a nationwide vote on March 4, found that nearly two out of three people will reject the initiative. The initiative was launched by the youth chapters of the two major parties on the right of the political spectrum. Support for the initiative dropped 5% compared with a previous poll carried out by the leading GfS Bern research institute on behalf of the SBC in January. “The long-running debate has been losing steam and chances of the initiative gaining the upper hand are waning,” says GfS political scientist Martina Mousson. Discussions about the initiative began last October, triggering emotional campaigns and broad coverage in the following month both by traditional and social media. “The involvement of civil society against the initiative led to heated debates, pushing ...
  • Swiss Icon: a symbolic expression of Switzerland
    What comes to your mind when you think of Switzerland? Chocolate, banks, luxury watches? These omnipresent images are not only indispensable products in everyday Swiss life. They are also considered symbols of Swiss tradition by people all around the world. However, they are presented across cultures in very different ways. A few years ago, Chinese artist Ying Xu moved to Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland. Her daily life and discussions with Swiss friends about linguistic differences and the misunderstanding of images and symbols from different cultural perspectives provided her with ideas and subject matter for the “Swiss Icon” series. It has now become a major creative project for her. The “icons” Xu chose are typical “Made in Switzerland” products such as fondue, edelweiss or yodelling and brands which probably haven’t been widely recognised internationally, for example Grittibänz, Tiger-Finkli and Ricola. During the creative process, Xu gradually developed her own way of ...
  • Romansh-speakers call for more government support
    Eighty years ago, 92% of Swiss voters approved the recognition of Romansh as the country’s fourth national language. On the occasion of this anniversary, the language’s lobby association has called for a widening of its official territory. Speaking to media in Bern on Monday on the eve of the vote’s anniversary, Johannes Flury, president of the Lia Rumantscha association, said the whole of Switzerland should henceforth be recognised as the official territory of the language, rather than just its home region in the east. Flury told Swiss Public Television SRF – in Romansh – that the authorities in canton Graubünden needed to implement measures to ensure that the canton stayed trilingual.  The reason for the call is the language’s ongoing decline: while Romansh grows in reputation and popularity, it is dying out in reality. It is spoken by just 0.5% of the Swiss population (around 60,000 people) and has been classified as at risk by UNESCO. + More on the struggle for ...
  • Boris Johnson's "mummy"
    This is thought to be UK Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson's great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. The best-known mummy in Switzerland was for decades a riddle to scientists. After 40 years, its identity has been unveiled. She was a lady with an illustrious family tree that leads back to the upper echelons of British high society. The mummy's name was Anna Catharina Bischoff, she lived from 1719 to 1787 and was related to the nobility of Basel. (SRF, swissinfo.ch)
  • Celebrating the ‘fifth season’ Swiss-style
    During carnival, the photographers of the Swiss picture agency Keystone are often in action at unusual hours, documenting wild celebrations in all their local forms across the country.  The last big event in the annual carnival calendar in the “Morgestraich” in Basel. At 4am, masked people playing piccolos and drums set off through the city.  + More information on Swiss customs and traditions The collection of images presents a short – and obviously far from complete – stroll through Switzerland’s carnival traditions. Not everywhere puts on massive events – in many places carnival consists simply of smaller parties and masked get-togethers in local pubs.  (All images: Keystone; text: Thomas Kern, swissinfo.ch)
 
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Swiss Benevolent Society
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United States of America
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The United Swiss Societies of Northern California (USSNC), founded in 1912, merged with the Swiss House Association of California, which had incorporated on July 21, 1930, the merger created the new name, United Swiss House of Northern California, Inc., which on February 11, 1983 incorporated to its current name. United Swiss Societies of Northern California, Inc., organized as a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation, 501(c)(4), tax ID 23-7126939