Portal:Switzerland

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The Switzerland Portal

Drapeau suisse
Map of Switzerland
The Aletsch Glacier. Swiss Pines (Pinus cembra) are visible in the foreground.
Location of Switzerland

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked country located at the confluence of Western, Central and Southern Europe. The country is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern. Switzerland is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided among the Swiss Plateau, the Alps and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). Although the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.7 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities and economic centres are, among them Zürich, Geneva and Basel. These three cities are home to several offices of international organisations such as the WTO, the WHO, the ILO, the headquarters of FIFA, the UN's second-largest office, as well as the main office of the Bank for International Settlements. The main international airports of Switzerland are also located in these cities.

The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy in the Late Middle Ages resulted from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. The Federal Charter of 1291 is considered the founding document of Switzerland, which is celebrated on Swiss National Day. Since the Reformation of the 16th century, Switzerland has maintained a firm policy of armed neutrality. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognised in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Switzerland has not fought an international war since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy. It is frequently involved in peace-building processes worldwide. Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross, one of the world's oldest and best known humanitarian organisations. It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.

Switzerland occupies the crossroads of Germanic and Romance Europe, as reflected in its four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, as well as Alpine symbolism. This identity stretching across languages, ethnic groups, and religions has led many to consider Switzerland a Willensnation ("nation of volition"), as opposed to a nation-state.

Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German); Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ, ˈʒviːtsʁɐ] (Romansh). On coins and stamps, the Latin name, Confoederatio Helvetica – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages. A developed country, it has the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product. It ranks highly on some international metrics, including economic competitiveness and human development. Its cities such as Zürich, Geneva and Basel rank among the highest in the world in terms of quality of life, albeit with some of the highest costs of living in the world. In 2020, IMD placed Switzerland first in attracting skilled workers. The WEF ranks it the fifth most competitive country globally. (Full article...)

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Roger Federer (German: [ˈrɔdʒər ˈfeːdərər]; born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss professional tennis player. He was ranked world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks, and has finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. He has won 103 ATP singles titles, the second most of all time after Jimmy Connors, including 20 Grand Slam titles, a record eight men's singles Wimbledon titles, an Open Era record-tying five men's singles US Open titles, and a record six year-end championships.

Federer has played in an era where he dominated men's tennis along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Referred to as the Big Three, they are considered by some to be the three greatest tennis players of all time. A Wimbledon junior champion in 1998, Federer won his first major singles title at Wimbledon in 2003 at age 21. In 2004, he won three of the four major singles titles and the ATP Finals, a feat he repeated in 2006 and 2007. From 2005 to 2010, he made 18 out of 19 major singles finals. During this span, he won five consecutive titles at both Wimbledon and the US Open. He completed the career Grand Slam at the 2009 French Open after three previous runner-up finishes to Nadal, his main rival until 2010. At age 27, he surpassed Pete Sampras' record of 14 major men's singles titles at Wimbledon in 2009. (Full article...)

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Aarau old town

Aarau (German: [ˈaːraʊ], Swiss German: [ˈɑːræu̯]) is a town, a municipality, and the capital of the northern Swiss canton of Aargau. The town is also the capital of the district of Aarau. It is German-speaking and predominantly Protestant. Aarau is situated on the Swiss plateau, in the valley of the Aare, on the river's right bank, and at the southern foot of the Jura Mountains, and is west of Zürich, 58 kilometres (36 mi) south of Basel and 65 kilometres (40 mi) northeast of Bern. The municipality borders directly on the canton of Solothurn to the west. It is the largest town in Aargau. At the beginning of 2010 Rohr became a district of Aarau.

The official language of Aarau is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect. (Full article...)

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The Nyon Conference was a diplomatic conference held in Nyon, Switzerland, in September 1937 to address attacks on international shipping in the Mediterranean Sea during the Spanish Civil War. The conference was convened in part because Italy had been carrying out unrestricted submarine warfare, although the final conference agreement did not accuse Italy directly; instead, the attacks were referred to as "piracy" by an unidentified body. Italy was not officially at war, nor did any submarine identify itself. The conference was designed to strengthen non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War. The United Kingdom and France led the conference, which was also attended by Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Romania, Turkey, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

The first agreement, signed on 14 September 1937, included plans to counterattack aggressive submarines. Naval patrols were established; the United Kingdom and France were to patrol most of the western Mediterranean and parts of the east, and the other signatories were to patrol their own waters. Italy was to be allowed to join the agreement and patrol the Tyrrhenian Sea if it wished. A second agreement followed three days later, applying similar provisions to surface ships. Italy and Germany did not attend, although the former took up naval patrols in November. In marked contrast to the actions of the Non-Intervention Committee and the League of Nations, this conference succeeded in preventing attacks by submarines. (Full article...)

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Related portals

Switzerland-related topics

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Politics of Switzerland
Swiss Federal Council - Federal Assembly of Switzerland - List of political parties in Switzerland - Elections in Switzerland - Foreign relations of Switzerland - Swiss Armed Forces

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Geography of Switzerland
Swiss Alps - Swiss plateau - Jura mountains - List of lakes of Switzerland - List of rivers of Switzerland - List of glaciers in Switzerland - List of mountains of Switzerland - List of mountain passes in Switzerland - List of cities in Switzerland - Municipalities of Switzerland

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History of Switzerland
Federal Charter of 1291 - Wilhelm Tell - The Early history of Switzerland - The Swiss Confederacy from 1291-1516 - The Reform - Early Modern Switzerland - Switzerland in the Napoleonic era - The Helvetic Republic - The Return of the Federation - A federal Republic - Switzerland during the World Wars - "Operation Tannenbaum" - Modern Switzerland

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

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Economy of Switzerland
List of Swiss companies - Swiss franc - Banking in Switzerland - Transportation in Switzerland - Energy in Switzerland - World Economic Forum - Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH - Tourism in Switzerland

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Education in Switzerland
List of universities in Switzerland - Dual education system - Science and technology in Switzerland - CERN

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Culture of Switzerland
German - French - Italian - Romansh - Swiss German - Francoprovençal - Music of Switzerland - Swiss cuisine - Swiss literature - SRG SSR idée suisse - Röstigraben - Sport in Switzerland

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Swiss people (list)
David Aebischer - Ursula Andress - Jakob Bernoulli - Le Corbusier - Louis Chevrolet - Carla Del Ponte - Henry Dunant - Herzog & de Meuron - Friedrich Dürrenmatt - Albert Einstein - Leonhard Euler - Roger Federer - Marc Forster - Martin Gerber - Alberto Giacometti - Martina Hingis - Arthur Honegger - Carl Gustav Jung - Paul Klee - Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi - Clay Regazzoni - Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Mark Streit - Huldrych Zwingli

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