Happy Birthday To Switzerland!
In other words, the birth of a nation.
Here are some fun facts to know about this beautiful country with scenery from its famous Alps to beautiful lakes and – without a doubt – its beautiful people.
• Switzerland is a small country that always pops out in a different color in the middle of a map of the European Union. It is a territory of 15940 Sq mi/ 41,285 km2, with more than 1,500 lakes, 8.4 millions inhabitants. The country has four national languages and most Swiss nationals speak at least one foreign language.
How Switzerland Was Formed
• Switzerland was not made in a day, but over centuries: On 1 August 1291, three cantons (Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden) got together on a meadow in central Switzerland and swore to stand together – this is known as the Rütli Oath – as a confederation. In 1803, internal unrest and numerous coups d’état prompt Napoleon to issue an “Act of Mediation”, which put an end to the Helvetic Republic and restores the sovereignty of the cantons.
• At the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, The European powers were interested in recognizing and maintaining sovereign and neutral Switzerland in order to ensure the neutrality of the strategic Alpine passes. Swiss independence and neutrality are formally recognized by European powers at the Congress of Vienna.
• In 1848, at the end of a civil war, Switzerland is transformed from a union of states to a federal state as declared by a new constitution. The country has since expended to 26 cantons, with Jura, whose territory was previously part of canton Bern until 1978, being the youngest Swiss Canton.
• Many outsiders think of the Swiss as being methodical and therefore boring. That is not the case, as anyone who has been to Switzerland or drank with the Swiss can verify.
• Switzerland has excellent wines from its wine countries. Here is a guide to one of the top wineries in the Lake Geneva wine region.
• Swiss wines are difficult to get outside of Switzerland. Only 10% is exported and that is mostly in neighboring countries. So to enjoy its wines, you have to go to Switzerland. And that’s not a bad thing at all.
• The Swiss not only invented the Swiss Army Knife (of course) but also velcro.