Language: French, German, Italian, Romansh
Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)
Calling Code: +41
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, it is a landlocked country located in central Europe and which has a population of 8,500,000 inhabitants (2018). Switzerland is a confederate republic of 26 states, called cantons. Bern is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country's financial centers are in the cities of Zurich, Basel, Geneva and Lugano. Switzerland is the fourth richest country in the world, according to its GDP per capita, with 83 718 US dollars (2011).
It borders to the north with Germany, to the west with France, to the south with Italy and to the east with Austria and Liechtenstein. It is characterized diplomatically by its neutral foreign relations policy, without having actively participated in any international conflict since 1815. Switzerland is the headquarters of several international organizations, such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, the Universal Postal Union, as well as one of the two offices of the UN in Europe, as well as being the headquarters of FIFA, the highest football organization in the world, and of UEFA, the largest body of European football; it is also the headquarters of the IOC, the highest body in charge of the realization of the Olympic Games and of FIDE, the highest chess organization in the world.
After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, starting in 1815, Switzerland respects political and military neutrality. This allowed her to avoid the devastating consequences of two world wars in the twentieth century. However, this was not always the case. From the time of ancient Rome there were those who wanted to annex these alpine valleys to their possessions. Particular interest in them increased in the Middle Ages, when they found themselves at the intersection of transport routes from northern Europe to Italy and from western Europe to east. The year of foundation of Switzerland is considered to be 1291, when the inhabitants of the three alpine valleys entered into an agreement on mutual support in the event of an attack. By 1513, the number of members of the union reached 13. After a decade and a half, the Reformation began in Switzerland, and the next three centuries, the confrontation between Catholics and Protestants continued, which repeatedly resulted in bloody wars. From 1798 until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Switzerland was under French rule. In subsequent years, there was a struggle between the patrician authority of individual cantons and supporters of the transformation of Switzerland into an integral state on a democratic basis, which ended in 1848 with the victory of the latter. A constitution was adopted and a federal parliament was created, and since then the period of quiet development of the Swiss Confederation has come.
Switzerland celebrates St. Berthold's Day on January 2.
In Geneva, December 12 marks the feast of Escalade.
August 1 is Confederation Day (Swiss National Day). On this day, mass festivities take place in all cantons, luxurious fireworks are arranged.
In Zurich in April, the Six-bellied is celebrated - a kind of spring meeting.
In the canton of Appenzell-Ausserroden, the Old New Year is celebrated - Sylvesterklaus.