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Some technologies enabled the exploration of new worlds such as the pressurised balloon of Auguste Piccard and the Bathyscaphe which permitted Jacques Piccard to reach the deepest point of the world's oceans.
Switzerland Space Agency, the Swiss Space Office , has been involved in various space technologies and programmes. In addition it was one of the 10 founders of the European Space Agency in and is the seventh largest contributor to the ESA budget.
In the private sector, several companies are implicated in the space industry such as Oerlikon Space  or Maxon Motors  who provide spacecraft structures.
Switzerland voted against membership in the European Economic Area in a referendum in December and has since maintained and developed its relationships with the European Union EU and European countries through bilateral agreements.
In March , the Swiss people refused in a popular vote to start accession negotiations with the EU. The application for membership of the EU was formally withdrawn in , having long been frozen.
The western French-speaking areas and the urban regions of the rest of the country tend to be more pro-EU, nonetheless with far from a significant share of the population.
To minimise the negative consequences of Switzerland's isolation from the rest of Europe, Bern and Brussels signed seven bilateral agreements to further liberalise trade ties.
These agreements were signed in and took effect in This first series of bilateral agreements included the free movement of persons.
A second series covering nine areas was signed in and has since been ratified, which includes the Schengen Treaty and the Dublin Convention besides others.
In , Switzerland approved 1 billion francs of supportive investment in the poorer Southern and Central European countries in support of cooperation and positive ties to the EU as a whole.
A further referendum will be needed to approve million francs to support Romania and Bulgaria and their recent admission. The Swiss have also been under EU and sometimes international pressure to reduce banking secrecy and to raise tax rates to parity with the EU.
Preparatory discussions are being opened in four new areas: opening up the electricity market, participation in the European GNSS project Galileo , cooperating with the European centre for disease prevention and recognising certificates of origin for food products.
On 27 November , the interior and justice ministers of European Union in Brussels announced Switzerland's accession to the Schengen passport-free zone from 12 December The land border checkpoints will remain in place only for goods movements, but should not run controls on people, though people entering the country had their passports checked until 29 March if they originated from a Schengen nation.
On 9 February , Swiss voters narrowly approved by This initiative was mostly backed by rural In December , a compromise with the European Union was attained effectively canceling quotas on EU citizens but still allowing for favourable treatment of Swiss-based job applicants.
On 18 May , two anti-nuclear initiatives were turned down: Moratorium Plus , aimed at forbidding the building of new nuclear power plants The agency is supporting the watt society initiative to cut the nation's energy use by more than half by the year On 31 May the world's longest and deepest railway tunnel and the first flat, low-level route through the Alps, the It started its daily business for passenger transport on 11 December replacing the old, mountainous, scenic route over and through the St Gotthard Massif.
Switzerland has a publicly managed road network without road tolls that is financed by highway permits as well as vehicle and gasoline taxes.
Gallen-Altenrhein Airport and Sion Airport. Swiss International Air Lines is the flag carrier of Switzerland.
Its main hub is Zürich, but it is legally domiciled in Basel. Switzerland has one of the best environmental records among nations in the developed world;  it was one of the countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol in and ratified it in Switzerland developed an efficient system to recycle most recyclable materials.
Switzerland also has an economic system for garbage disposal, which is based mostly on recycling and energy-producing incinerators due to a strong political will to protect the environment.
In almost all Swiss municipalities, stickers or dedicated garbage bags need to be purchased that allow for identification of disposable garbage.
In , Switzerland's population slightly exceeded 8. In common with other developed countries, the Swiss population increased rapidly during the industrial era, quadrupling between and and has continued to grow.
Like most of Europe, Switzerland faces an ageing population , albeit with consistent annual growth projected into , due mostly to immigration and a fertility rate close to replacement level.
As of [update] , resident foreigners make up Immigrants from Sri Lanka , most of them former Tamil refugees, were the largest group among people of Asian origin 6.
Additionally, the figures from show that A third of this population , held Swiss citizenship. Four fifths of persons with an immigration background were themselves immigrants first generation foreigners and native-born and naturalised Swiss citizens , whereas one fifth were born in Switzerland second generation foreigners and native-born and naturalised Swiss citizens.
In the s, domestic and international institutions expressed concern about what was perceived as an increase in xenophobia , particularly in some political campaigns.
In reply to one critical report, the Federal Council noted that "racism unfortunately is present in Switzerland", but stated that the high proportion of foreign citizens in the country, as well as the generally unproblematic integration of foreigners, underlined Switzerland's openness.
Switzerland has four national languages : mainly German spoken by However, federal laws and other official acts do not need to be decreed in Romansh.
In , the languages most spoken at home among permanent residents aged 15 and older were Swiss German Other languages spoken at home included English 5.
The federal government is obliged to communicate in the official languages, and in the federal parliament simultaneous translation is provided from and into German, French and Italian.
Aside from the official forms of their respective languages, the four linguistic regions of Switzerland also have their local dialectal forms. The role played by dialects in each linguistic region varies dramatically: in the German-speaking regions, Swiss German dialects have become ever more prevalent since the second half of the 20th century, especially in the media, such as radio and television, and are used as an everyday language for many, while the Swiss variety of Standard German is almost always used instead of dialect for written communication c.
The principal official languages German, French, and Italian have terms, not used outside of Switzerland, known as Helvetisms.
German Helvetisms are, roughly speaking, a large group of words typical of Swiss Standard German , which do not appear either in Standard German , nor in other German dialects.
These include terms from Switzerland's surrounding language cultures German Billett  from French , from similar terms in another language Italian azione used not only as act but also as discount from German Aktion.
The most frequent characteristics of Helvetisms are in vocabulary, phrases, and pronunciation, but certain Helvetisms denote themselves as special in syntax and orthography likewise.
Duden , the comprehensive German dictionary, contains about Helvetisms. Learning one of the other national languages at school is compulsory for all Swiss pupils, so many Swiss are supposed to be at least bilingual , especially those belonging to linguistic minority groups.
Swiss residents are universally required to buy health insurance from private insurance companies, which in turn are required to accept every applicant.
While the cost of the system is among the highest, it compares well with other European countries in terms of health outcomes; patients have been reported as being, in general, highly satisfied with it.
Between two thirds and three quarters of the population live in urban areas. Since urban development has claimed as much of the Swiss landscape as it did during the previous 2, years.
This urban sprawl does not only affect the plateau but also the Jura and the Alpine foothills  and there are growing concerns about land use.
Switzerland has a dense network of towns, where large, medium and small towns are complementary. These churches, and in some cantons also the Old Catholic Church and Jewish congregations, are financed by official taxation of adherents.
As of the census other Christian minority communities included Neo- Pietism 0. Non-Christian religions are Hinduism 0. The country was historically about evenly balanced between Catholic and Protestant, with a complex patchwork of majorities over most of the country.
Switzerland played an exceptional role during the Reformation as it became home to many reformers.
Geneva converted to Protestantism in , just before John Calvin arrived there. In , he founded the Republic of Geneva on his own ideals.
Zürich became another stronghold around the same time, with Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger taking the lead there.
Anabaptists Felix Manz and Conrad Grebel also operated there. Gallen Joachim Vadian. One canton, Appenzell, was officially divided into Catholic and Protestant sections in The Swiss Constitution of , under the recent impression of the clashes of Catholic vs.
Protestant cantons that culminated in the Sonderbundskrieg , consciously defines a consociational state , allowing the peaceful co-existence of Catholics and Protestants.
A initiative calling for the complete separation of church and state was rejected by Three of Europe's major languages are official in Switzerland.
Swiss culture is characterised by diversity, which is reflected in a wide range of traditional customs. Switzerland is home to many notable contributors to literature, art, architecture, music and sciences.
In addition the country attracted a number of creative persons during time of unrest or war in Europe. Alpine symbolism has played an essential role in shaping the history of the country and the Swiss national identity.
Other areas throughout the year have a recreational culture that caters to tourism, yet the quieter seasons are spring and autumn when there are fewer visitors.
A traditional farmer and herder culture also predominates in many areas and small farms are omnipresent outside the towns. Folk art is kept alive in organisations all over the country.
In Switzerland it is mostly expressed in music, dance, poetry, wood carving and embroidery. The alphorn , a trumpet-like musical instrument made of wood, has become alongside yodeling and the accordion an epitome of traditional Swiss music.
As the Confederation, from its foundation in , was almost exclusively composed of German-speaking regions, the earliest forms of literature are in German.
In the 18th century, French became the fashionable language in Bern and elsewhere, while the influence of the French-speaking allies and subject lands was more marked than before.
Probably the most famous Swiss literary creation, Heidi , the story of an orphan girl who lives with her grandfather in the Alps, is one of the most popular children's books ever and has come to be a symbol of Switzerland.
Her creator, Johanna Spyri — , wrote a number of other books on similar themes. The freedom of the press and the right to free expression is guaranteed in the federal constitution of Switzerland.
The SNA supplies almost all Swiss media and a couple dozen foreign media services with its news. Switzerland has historically boasted the greatest number of newspaper titles published in proportion to its population and size.
The cultural diversity accounts for a variety of newspapers. The government exerts greater control over broadcast media than print media, especially due to finance and licensing.
Radio content is produced in six central and four regional studios while the television programmes are produced in Geneva , Zürich , Basel , and Lugano.
An extensive cable network also allows most Swiss to access the programmes from neighbouring countries. Skiing , snowboarding and mountaineering are among the most popular sports in Switzerland, the nature of the country being particularly suited for such activities.
Moritz The latter town hosted the second Winter Olympic Games in and the fifth edition in Among the most successful skiers and world champions are Pirmin Zurbriggen and Didier Cuche.
The most prominently watched sports in Switzerland are football , ice hockey , Alpine skiing , " Schwingen ", and tennis. Actually many other headquarters of international sports federations are located in Switzerland.
The Swiss Super League is the nation's professional football club league. Many Swiss also follow ice hockey and support one of the 12 teams of the National League , which is the most attended league in Europe.
The numerous lakes make Switzerland an attractive place for sailing. The largest, Lake Geneva , is the home of the sailing team Alinghi which was the first European team to win the America's Cup in and which successfully defended the title in Motorsport racecourses and events were banned in Switzerland following the Le Mans disaster with exception to events such as Hillclimbing.
In June the Swiss National Council , one house of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland , voted to overturn the ban, however the other house, the Swiss Council of States rejected the change and the ban remains in place.
Traditional sports include Swiss wrestling or " Schwingen ". It is an old tradition from the rural central cantons and considered the national sport by some.
Hornussen is another indigenous Swiss sport, which is like a cross between baseball and golf. Practised only among the alpine population since prehistoric times , it is recorded to have taken place in Basel in the 13th century.
It is also central to the Unspunnenfest , first held in , with its symbol the The cuisine of Switzerland is multifaceted. While some dishes such as fondue , raclette or rösti are omnipresent through the country, each region developed its own gastronomy according to the differences of climate and languages.
The number of fine-dining establishments is high, particularly in western Switzerland. Chocolate has been made in Switzerland since the 18th century but it gained its reputation at the end of the 19th century with the invention of modern techniques such as conching and tempering which enabled its production on a high quality level.
Also a breakthrough was the invention of solid milk chocolate in by Daniel Peter. The Swiss are the world's largest consumers of chocolate.
Due to the popularisation of processed foods at the end of the 19th century, Swiss health food pioneer Maximilian Bircher-Benner created the first nutrition-based therapy in form of the well-known rolled oats cereal dish, called Birchermüesli.
The most popular alcoholic drink in Switzerland is wine. Switzerland is notable for the variety of grapes grown because of the large variations in terroirs , with their specific mixes of soil, air, altitude and light.
Swiss wine is produced mainly in Valais , Vaud Lavaux , Geneva and Ticino , with a small majority of white wines. Vineyards have been cultivated in Switzerland since the Roman era, even though certain traces can be found of a more ancient origin.
The most widespread varieties are the Chasselas called Fendant in Valais and Pinot noir. The Merlot is the main variety produced in Ticino.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Federal republic in Central Europe. This article is about the sovereign state. For other uses, see Switzerland disambiguation and Swiss Confederation disambiguation.
Coat of arms. Main article: Name of Switzerland. Main article: History of Switzerland. Main articles: Early history of Switzerland and Switzerland in the Roman era.
Main article: Old Swiss Confederacy. Main articles: Restoration and Regeneration Switzerland and Switzerland as a federal state. Main article: Geography of Switzerland.
Contrasted landscapes between the regions of the Matterhorn and Lake Lucerne. This section contains an unencyclopedic or excessive gallery of images.
Please help improve the section by removing excessive or indiscriminate images or by moving relevant images beside adjacent text, in accordance with the Manual of Style on use of images.
Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Politics of Switzerland. Main article: Voting in Switzerland. Main article: Cantons of Switzerland.
Main article: Foreign relations of Switzerland. Main article: Economy of Switzerland. Main articles: Education in Switzerland and Science and technology in Switzerland.
Main article: Switzerland—European Union relations. Main articles: Demographics of Switzerland and Swiss people.
Further information: List of Swiss people. Main article: Languages of Switzerland. German French Italian 8. Romansh 0. Main articles: Health in Switzerland and Healthcare in Switzerland.
Main article: Towns of Switzerland. Main article: Religion in Switzerland. Main article: Culture of Switzerland. See also: Music of Switzerland , Swiss folklore , and Alpine culture.
Main article: Literature of Switzerland. Main article: Media of Switzerland. Main article: Sport in Switzerland.
Main article: Swiss cuisine. See also: Culinary Heritage of Switzerland. Switzerland portal Europe portal. Swiss law does not designate a capital as such, but the federal parliament and government are located in Bern, while the federal courts are located in other cities.
The date of the Federal Charter of was selected in for the official celebration of the "Confederacy's th anniversary". A resolution of the Tagsatzung of 14 September specified that the powers of the institutions provided for by the Federal Treaty would expire at the time of the constitution of the Federal Council , which took place on 16 November Schwyz is also the standard German and international name of one of the Swiss cantons.
Berne: Department Communication, University of Berne. Retrieved 30 May French Politics. Insight Turkey. Retrieved 20 September Switzerland's population PDF official report.
Swiss Statistics. Archived from the original on 20 December Retrieved 7 December International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 29 July Retrieved 20 October United Nations Development Programme.
Retrieved 10 December Princeton University Press. Swiss Constitutional Law. Kluwer Law International. Adrian Vatter Studienkurs Politikwissenschaft in German.
Comparative Studies in Society and History. Tages-Anzeiger in German. Zürich, Switzerland. Archived from the original on 15 December Retrieved 14 December Credit Suisse.
Archived from the original PDF on 23 October Retrieved 17 June The country data comes from Table 3.
The region data comes from the end of that table on page Digital Journal. Archived from the original on 12 January The Guardian.
London, UK. Zürich, CH: Mercer Consulting. Retrieved 23 February Geneva, Switzerland: WEF. London: MacFarland and Co. Retrieved 30 March Smithsonian Magazine.
All That's Interesting. Archived from the original on 26 June Retrieved 22 June It should be noticed that in valle di Lei Italy got in exchange a territory of the same area.
Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 22 October Archived 1 December at the Wayback Machine stonebooks. Archived from the original on 5 May Retrieved 5 May Bartoszewski; S.
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I greatly appreciate this diversity. Switzerland is bordered to the west by France , to the north by Germany , to the east by Austria and Liechtenstein , and to the south by Italy.
It extends about miles km from north to south and miles km at its widest extent from west to east. Economic development and high population density have caused severe environmental stress, resulting in pollution and debates over the use of natural resources.
For example, air-pollution emissions in Switzerland are among the lowest in industrialized countries. Article Media.
Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Britannica Quiz. European History.Selected filters. Journalism Media coverage Misinformation Wikipedia's response. We arrived here late one evening after our camp site we was meant to be staying Star World was closed. International relations Aid European Union. On 20 March, the government announced that no lockdown would be implemented, but all events or meetings over 5 people were Swiss Location. Archived from the original on 27 February We would stay with them again Eye Of Ra Casino. See all properties. Zahlen auf einer Webseite aufzuschalten macht deshalb kaum Sinn. The second step was to begin on 11 May, assuming implementation Online Casinos Download the first step without problems, at which time other shops and schools could be opened. Sussex European Institute. European History. Swiss Constitutional Law. See also: Music of SwitzerlandSwiss folkloreand Alpine Suchbilder Tiere. Retrieved 17 June Vineyards have been cultivated in Switzerland Titanic Games the Roman era, even though certain traces can be found of a more ancient origin.