If you were asked what do you know about Switzerland? what would you reply?
I must admit there are three things that come to my mind:
- it’s a very expensive country
- they use CHF for Swiss Francs (but I have no clue why!)
- they are too cool to be in EU.
Since we’re also doing a trip this weekend to Switzerland, I thought it might be a good idea to know more about it before arriving there.
First and foremost, why does Switzerland have the code CH? It is because Switzerland is also known as Confeoderatio Helvetica, which basically gives the abbreviation CH. [I bet there’s a connection with the font name, too! :P] Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, which is a nice discovery for a Romanian – I understand why we call the country “Elveţia”.
Although Zürich is the largest (and most popular) city, the capital city is Bern. The whole country is organized in no more and no less than 26 cantons. The Swiss Federal Council consists of 7 members. Their meetings are chaired by the president of the confederation elected for 1 year (!), during which he/she is considered as being “primus inter pares”, or “first among equals”.
Below, the picture illustrates this year’s council, led by president Ueli Maurer. I was positively amazed to see 4 women and 4 men!
Regarding the number of official languages, it beats Belgium with a tight score of 4:3. The 4 official languages are: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Ethnic groups wise, 65% are German, 18% French, 10% Italian, 1% Romansh and the rest 6% other nations.
It’s also one of 48 landlocked countries in the world, which means that it’s entirely enclosed by land. Moreover, it neighbours with one of the two countries in the world double landlocked: Liechtenstein. There are 208 mountains over 3000 m high, 24 of them being over 4000 m. The highest of them is Monte Rosa (4634m), situated on the Italian/Swiss border.
Confeoderatio Helvetica is also the country that founded Red Cross in 1863. Their monochromatically reversed flag became the symbol of Red Cross.
Needless to say, it is one of the richest country in the world and having the highest wealth per adult of any country in the world.
These are the numbers about CH, so to say. This is before going to Switzerland. Let’s see what’s the oppinion after 😉
If you’ve been there and you have some recommendations in terms of nice places / cafes / something to visit, please let me know 😉