A IS FOR AGRICULTURE & ARCHAEOLOGY
Switzerland has several ARCHAEOLOGY sites. Archaeology has progressed in Switzerland largely due to extraordinary circumstances. Two cases in particular stand out. One was the campaign that revealed the treasures of the country’s former Roman capital, Avenches.The other was the decision in 1961 by the government to pay for all archaeological work related to the construction of the national motorway network. By the 1990s, Swiss archaeology was among the most efficient in the world. Augusta Raurica is a Roman archaeological site and an open-air museum in Switzerland located on the south bank of the Rhine river near the villages of Augst and Kaiseraugst. It is the site of the oldest known Roman colony on the Rhine.
Switzerland has nearly 400 species of BIRDS. Bird watching is popular and there are many Bird-watching spots. The Falconry Galina in Malbun has open air show. One of the best areas for birders is the Fanel and Chablais nature reserves. Neeracherried is the breeding ground of rare birds such as the Lapwing and the resting place of migrating birds like the blue Kingfisher with its iridescent feathers. The stork colony near Selzach is internationally known as a breeding station and nurturing environment for White Storks. Sometimes over a hundred storks live there.
Switzerland has many BRIDGES including pedestrian, covered, railway, and roadway. The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge is the longest hanging bridge for pedestrian use in the world. The Chapel Bridge in Lucerne is the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe. Ponte dei Salti was built in the 17th century. The country also has viaducts. A spiral viaduct, Sruisio Spiral Viadect, was required immediately south of Brusio to limit the railway's grade so the train would not slip on the way up, or be uncontrollable on the way down. The Titlis Cliff Walk is around 10,000 feet above sea level and believed to be the highest elevation suspension bridge in Europe. The Trift Bridge is the longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps.
Switzerland has all forms of COMMUNICATION including newspapers, radio, television, and internet. Webcams are located throughout the country. The country has many telephone area codes. The country code is 41. The country code top-level domain for Switzerland on the internet is .ch, the abbreviation of the Latin name of the Confoederatio Helvetica (Swiss Confederation).
The Swiss franc is the CURRENCY and legal tender of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Is also legal tender in the Italian exclave Campione d'Italia. The history of the Swiss Franc dates back to the Helvetic Republic. The Swiss National Bank issues banknotes and the federal mint Swissmint issues coins. Switzerland (with Liechtenstein) is in the unusual position of being surrounded by countries which use the euro. As a result, the euro is de facto accepted in many places, especially near borders and in tourist regions.To avoid having to translate the name of Switzerland in the four national languages, Latin is used on the coins of the Swiss franc (Helvetia or Confoederatio Helvetica) and on Swiss stamps (Helvetia).
There is evidence that DINOSAURS roamed what is now Switzerland. The name "Jurassic" is directly linked to the Jura Mountains. When a scientist recognized the mainly limestone dominated mountain range of the Jura Mountains as a separate formation it was named it "Jura-Kalkstein" ('Jura limestone). Numerous fossils and dinosaur tracks have been found in the Jura Mountains. In 2009, a motorway project on the Swiss side of the Jura led to the discovery of not only dinosaur tracks but fossils of creatures including marine crocodiles and mammoths. Also in 2009, the largest dinosaur tracks in the world were discovered there. The Monte San Giogio region overlooking Lake Lugano is the single best known record of marine life in the Triassic period, and records important remains of life on land as well. There is a Dinosaur Park in the Aha Valley. Aathal Dinosaur Museum is one of the few dinosaur museums in Europe.
The EDUCATION system in Switzerland is very diverse because the constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority for the school system mainly to the cantons. The Swiss constitution sets the foundations, namely that primary school is obligatory for every child and is free in public schools and that the confederation can run or support universities. There are also many private schools and home schooling is popular.
The FLAG of Switzerland consists of a red flag with a white cross (a bold, equilateral cross) in the center. It is one of only two square sovereign-state flags. The Coat of Arms shows the same white cross as the flag of Switzerland, but on a red shield. Like the Swiss flag, the coat of arms is used on many items, such as Swiss francs, Swiss car number plates, and Swiss-branded exports such as Swiss Army knives. Each canton has their own flag and coat of arms.
FOOD in Switzerland has regional influences, including Italian, French, and German. Switzerland was historically a country of farmers, so traditional Swiss dishes tend to be plain and made from simple ingredients, such as potatoes and cheese. Many foods have been invented in Switzerland. The country has special regional dishes. Switzerland has food fairs, festivals, events, and exhibitions.. The country is famous for several foods. Swiss cheese is perhaps the most famous cheese to come out of the country. The Swiss are said to eat the most chocolate out of any country in the world. Another well-known Swiss food is Rosti, a flat cake made out of fried grated potatoes. It is considered a national dish.
Switzerland has had many FORTS. The National Redoubt encompassed a widely distributed set of fortifications on a general east-west line through the Alps. The Border Line consisted of a series of bunkers spaced at short intervals along the French, German and Austrian borders A number of the positions have become museums and may be toured.
The GLOBAL POSTION of Switzerland is approximately 46 latitude north and 7 longitude east. The geographic center is located at Älggi-Alp in the municipality of Sachseln, Obwalden. The highest point is Monte Rosa and Lake Maggiore is the lowest. Geocaching is a high-tech sport using a Global Positioning System and Switzerland has many Geocaches.
The HISTORY of Switzerland dates back to the Stone Age about 3000 BC. The country has been ruled by the Helvetians, the Romans, the Franks, the Germans, and the French. By 1900 Switzerland was one of the first industrialized countries in Europe. Switzerland is obliged to be neutral in any conflicts between other nations.
Switzerland has many ISLANDS in lakes and rivers. Rheinau Island is the site of the late gothic-baroque abbey, formerly the collegiate church of St. Maria, a showpiece of high baroque. Ufenau Island and its two churches are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance. St Peter's Island is a peninsula and former island situated in Lake Bienne in the canton of Bern. Ile d'Ogoz is a small island in Lake Gruyere and has a ruined castle with two mighty towers and a chapel. Shwanau-Lauerzersee Island has the ruins of a 12-13 century castle, a chapel, and restaurant.. The mild climate on Brissago Island enables subtropical plants to flourish in the open air.
The JUDICIAL system of Switzerland is composed of The Federal Court of Justice in Lausanne and is composed of 30 permanent members appointed for six-year terms by the Federal Assembly. Judicial reforms carried out in 2000 reduced the caseload of the Federal Court, by creating a federal criminal court and federal administrative bodies with judicial competence. Each canton has its own cantonal court. Capital punishment was abolished in 1942. The judiciary is independent and free from interference by other branches of government. The judicial system is based on civil law influenced by customary law. Switzerland accepts compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The Federal Palace is in Bern.
Many aspects of life in Switzerland revolve around KIDS. There are many family friendly hotels. Click HERE for fun things to do with kids in Switzerland. Les Elfes International in Verbier offers residential summer, winter & spring camps in the Swiss Alps for kids ages 7-18. Learn what it's like for a kid to grow up in Switzerland.
The four national LANGUAGES of Switzerland are German (63%) French 22%, Italian 8%, and Romansh (.05%). All but Romansh maintain equal status as official languages at the national level within the Federal Administration of the Swiss Confederation. In 17 Swiss cantons, German is the only official language.
LIBRARIES are located throughout Switzerland including Academic Libraries. The Swiss National Library in Berne was founded in 1894. The Library of Saint Galland the Abbey of St. Gall are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The library collection is the oldest in Switzerland and one of earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world. The Bodmer Library is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
Switzerland has several MOUNTAIN ranges. Monte Rosa is the tallest mountain in the country. Mountain climbing is a popular activity. From the Jungfrau, you can see the largest glacier in Europe, the Aletsch Glacier. In 1871, the first mountain cogwheel railway in Europe rolled to the top of Mount Rigi. The top of Mount Pilatus can be reached with the Pilatus Railway, the steepest cogwheel railway in the world.
Switzerland has some 1000 MUSEUMS one of the densest museum networks in the world. The Lamaison du Gruyer has an exhibition that guides you through a modern world of the senses and introduces you to the secrets of the Gruyère AOC making. Three museums – the National Museum Zurich, the Castle of Prangins, and the Forum of Swiss History Schwyz – as well as the collections centre in Affoltern am Albis – are united under the umbrella of the Swiss National Museum. The Geneva Museum of Art and History is the largest museum in the country.
Switzerland belongs to many International ORGANIZATIONS. including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Since joining the UNITED NATIONS in 2002, Switzerland has been an active and innovative member. Switzerland, though not a member, takes part in many scientific programs of the European Union.
In 1998 over 7 million people lived in Switzerland an increase more than threefold since 1815, when the borders were established. Citizens are called Swiss. Many famous people have called the Switzerland their home. William Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland. The president of the Swiss Confederation can only serve one year and there have been many presidents.
Switzerland has a variety of REPTILES and amphibians Snakes include the Aesculapian rat snake, the Dice snake, and the Grass snake. The country has 2 venomous snakes the Adder and the Asp Viper. The European Pond Turtle is the only turtle species native in Switzerland. The country has several types of lizards including the common lizard, the only kind of lizard found in the National Park, and the Common Wall Lizard. There are also has several types of salamanders including the Fire salamander and the Alpine Salamander.
The most important organisations for SPORTS in Switzerland are the Federal Office of Sport, and the Swiss Olympic Committee. Switzerland offers a large variety of sports. While winter sports are enjoyed throughout the country, football and ice hockey remain the most popular sports. Major sport events in Switzerland include the Olympic Games, which were held two times in St. Moritz, the 1954 FIFA World Cup, and the UEFA Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria.
Switzerland has all forms of TRANSPORTATION. The country has 3 international airports and the highest train density in Europe. The Swiss rail passes make traveling very easy. Swiss cities operate a range of public transport services including buses, trams, and in lakeside cities also boats. More than 1000 miles of motorways and 43,000 miles of other highways and second-class roads (all of them paved) form a dense road network. Swiss car license plates consist of a 2 letter code for the canton followed by up to 6 numerical digits. The rear plates also contain small shields representing the flags of Switzerland and the canton. The Swiss Transport Museum in Lucerne exhibits all forms of transportation as well as communications. In 2016, a transportation tunnel deep beneath the Alps opened making it the longest tunnel in the world.
Switzerland has 12 Universities . Ten of them are managed by the cantons, while two federal institutes of technology are under the responsibility of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. The first university in Switzerland was founded in 1460 in Basel. Switzerland has the 2nd highest rate of foreign students in higher education.
Switzerland does not have any VOLCANOS, but erupting volcanoes effect the country.
The WEATHER in Switzerland includes a range of temperatures, as the mountains create a variety of local and regional microclimates. Most of the country has a central European climate. The coldest area is the Jura. By contrast, Ticino in the south has a hot Mediterranean climate. Summer tends to bring a lot of sun but also the most rain. Look out for the Föhn, a hot, dry wind that sweeps down into the valleys and can strike at any time of the year. Meteo Swiss provides information about weather in the country. Switzerland is aware of Climate Change in the country.
Switzerland has a variety of WILDLIFE including rodents and bats. There are also carnivors including the Wildcat, the Lynx, the Red Fox, the Brown Bear, the Red Deer, and the Alpine Ibex. The Parc Ela is the largest nature park in the country.
Switzerland has several ZOOS. The Basel Zoo is Switzerland's oldest (1874) and largest zoo (by number of animals). In the Knies Children's Zoo, depending on the species, the animals can be touched, petted, fed or ridden. Rinerhorn Alpine Petting Zoo you can pet pigs, goats and a variety of rabbits, and also have the opportunity to touch and pet sheep and their young, as well as llamas.The country has 2 Aquariums.