The Celts occupied the western part of Switzerland, while the eastern half became part of a Roman province that was named Raetia. People living in close proximity may speak markedly distinct, sometimes nearly mutually unintelligible dialects of their first language, if not a different language altogether. Switzerland calls itself Eidgenossenschaft (Society of the Oath) after the word Eidgenossen (Oath Fellowship), which recalls the pact signed by three lords in 1291, marking the birth of the Swiss nation. It doesn’t make it to the news very often, and to be honest, Swiss news is usually the opposite of exciting. The country has not gone to war since 1815, and interestingly enough, it was one of the last countries to join the United Nations. Switzerland is regularly judged to have among the world’s highest standards of living. The Roman colonization of Swiss lands would last up until 455 AD, which is when the Barbarians decided to invade. – Source. Switzerland Joins the UN and Moves to the Right Politically On Sept 10, 2002, the Swiss abandoned their long-held neutrality to become the 190th member of the UN. Switzerland Facts 10 Geo Superlatives. Switzerland is one of the smallest, yet most special countries in the world. The Swiss justifiably take great pride in this, and the point was encapsulated in the early 21st century by Ruth Dreifuss, who in 1999 became the country’s first woman and first Jewish president (a post that rotates annually): I may be a native speaker of French, but my parents originally came from German-speaking Switzerland and I myself worked in an Italian-speaking area for a while and enjoy travelling to all parts of the country…. In the early sixteenth century, what amounts to a civil war of sorts broke out in Switzerland due to some of the agreements between the alliance and France. Basel and Lucerne are major German-speaking cities, Geneva and Lausanne the centres of the country’s French-speaking cantons, and Bellinzona and Lugano the principal cities in the Italian-speaking Ticino. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? In the 1st century BC, Rome conquered the land and Switzerland was a Roman province for 500 years. (1993). The former is a medieval clock tower that features moving puppets and a fifteenth-century astronomical clock. Like all of the countries in Europe, Switzerland has been home to human activity for more than 100,000 years. Check out some more surprising facts about Switzerland or facts about lakes and mountains in Switzerland. Some of the most interesting facts associated with this fascinating country have been mentioned below. The Swiss Sonderbund War of 1847. Most Swiss live in towns and cities, not in the idyllic rural landscapes that captivated the world through Johanna Spyri’s Heidi (1880–81), the country’s best-known literary work. For example, air-pollution emissions in Switzerland are among the lowest in industrialized countries. Engadine is one of the top attractions for tourists visiting Switzerland. Here are some facts about Switzerland: Switzerland is a country that is busting at the seams with alpine lakes, dramatic cliff faces mountains, modern cities, flower-filled meadows, charming villages, fresh air, alphorns, and free-roaming dairy cows it’s easy to see the allure. Explore the history of Switzerland below. Switzerland Facts for Kids. Switzerland was originally called Helvetia by Julius Caesar when he conquered the Helvetii, a group of Celtic tribes, who lived in the area between the Alps and the Jura Mountains. It extends about 135 miles (220 km) from north to south and 220 miles (350 km) at its widest extent from west to east. Economic development and high population density have caused severe environmental stress, resulting in pollution and debates over the use of natural resources. During the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries, the Swiss territory became part of the Frankish Empire. Wikipedia: History of Switzerland Switzerland has long been a model multiethnic, multilingual society, a place in which diverse peoples can live in social harmony and unite in common interest. The Bern Historical Museum is a good place to learn about the capital, and most of the other cities and towns in the country offers their own history museums. Where is Lungern located? By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1929-12-15 Swiss pilot Walter Mittelholzer is the first to fly over Mt. Photograph … Swiss History Comprehensive site about Swiss history from Prehistory to the 20th Century by swissworld.org. La Gruyère district, Fribourg canton, Switzerland. Everyone recognizes Switzerland as the land of mountains, cheese and happy people. It celebrates the importance of chestnuts in historical Switzerland. Facts about people and society in Switzerland. Switzerland history is full of interesting facts, and one could study it for years if they were so inclined. Switzerland is the first and only country to implement a system of government based on the people's administration, also known as direct democracy, which involves the constitutional initiative (public petitions) and the referendum. However, glossy tourism brochures do not tell the entire story: Switzerland is much more than a country of stereotypes. – Source. The seed of independence was sewn to gain insight into the history of Switzerland 1929-12-15 Swiss pilot Walter is! 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