Last updated on June 21st, 2017 at 06:25 am
Switzerland is a small, landlocked, European country located at the imaginary border between Central and Western Europe. The Swiss Confederation (as the official name stands) consists of 26 cantons is bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.
It spans over the area of slightly more than 41 thousand square kilometres and the overall population counts over 8 million people. Switzerland (mainly thanks to its landlocked location) has four official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The usage depends on the location and border distance.
The official seat of federal authorities is Bern, however, there is no official capital city. The largest one is Zürich – which, together with Geneva, belong to global economic and financial centres.
Today, Switzerland is a high income economy and belongs to some of the most developed countries worldwide, always top ranked in terms of GDP, life quality, education, human development and overall wealth. Both Geneva and Zürich are also repeatedly ranked as top cities for life in the world.
Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, although it participates in Schengen area and is home to for instance Red Cross or United Nations.
Historically, Switzerland is situated on the border between Romance and Germanic cultures, which is today reflected on the cultural diversity. The national identity for Swiss people is firmly rooted within the nation and presents shared values and democratic mindset.
Important fact during the modern history is also that Switzerland remained neutral during both World Wars and was left uninvaded, free to flourish.
The geography of Switzerland is dominated by respectable (and recognised all over the world) Swiss Alps, extending from north to south. Apart from the Alps and picture perfect snowy mountain peaks, Swiss landscape is quite diverse, presenting pure nature full of greeneries, incredibly clean mountain lakes and wild rivers. Needless to say, Switzerland is a paradise for outdoor lovers and winter sport enthusiasts.
Swiss national pride, apart from all the mesmerizing outdoor beauty, also includes wide range of traditions and delicious cuisine. Some of the best exported products from Switzerland are undoubtedly Swiss chocolate and cheese (further used for special dishes such as raclette or fondue).