Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun facts about Switzerland

August 1st is to the Swiss what July 4th is to Americans, or July 14th to the French. Swiss National Day is only just over a century old, and it was only in 1993 that the hardworking Swiss agreed that they could all take the day off, but the event it commemorates took place 700 years ago, and at the heart of the celebrations is a custom which doubtless goes back into the mists of time.

The day was chosen because August 1st, 1291 was the date on which three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland. The representatives of Schwyz, Unterwalden and Uri met on the Rütli field, high above Lake Lucerne, to swear a bond of brotherhood, and agree to act jointly if their freedoms were threatened by outside aggressors.

Just for fun.... I thought I'd list a few facts about Switzerland that you might wish to share with your kids. August 1st, Switzerland's National Day is right around the corner, so get you Cervelat sausages and candle lampions ready and check out the nearest bomfire to celebrate the Swiss style! ;)

Here goes the list of Swiss fun facts:

- Victorinox, the manufacturer of the famous Swiss army knife, was founded in 1884.
- Nestlé, founded by Swiss Henri Nestle, is the biggest food company in the world.
- Albert Einstein published his Theory of Relativity in 1905, when he was working as a patent clerk in Bern.
- Swiss Guards protect the Pope at the Vatican.
- The flag of Vatican, is the only other square flag, apart from Switzerland's.
- The flag of the Red Cross is the flag of Switzerland with the colours inverted.
- The famous pharmaceutical companies Roche and Novartis are based in Switzerland.
- The Swiss are world-wide leaders in private banking or asset management for individuals. UBS and Credit Suisse are among the leading banks.
- Housing is expensive, only about one-third of Swiss population live in their own house.
- The Swiss franc is among the world's most stable currencies.
- Switzerland is one of the world's largest watch manufacturers.
- Apart from luxury brands, Switzerland is also known for the world's best selling plastic watch, the Swatch.
- Switzerland has the second highest life expectancy, after Sweden
- 60% of Switzerland's electricity is produced by hydroelectric power.
- Swiss women were the last in Europe to get the vote (apart from Liechtenstein). It was only in 1971 that the male electorate agreed to allow them voting rights at federal level.
- Some 400,000 Swiss emigrated between 1850 and 1914 to North and South America, and founded Swiss colonies. Bern has 26 towns & villages named after it in the US.
- Switzerland leads the world in chocolate consumption. It is said that an average Swiss eats 23lbs of chocolate annually.

More fun facts:
Switzerland in numbers:

The Canton Game:
Test your knowledge of Swiss geography with the canton game: drag and drop the names and flags into the appropriate place on the map. If you've placed them correctly, they'll stick. Click here!



Unknown said...

Great facts! I will definitely share them with my kiddos! Happy August 1st on Monday! So glad someone could help pick you up when you are down...motherhood is tough! Visiting and following from You Like Me Hop...hop over to my blog and follow back if you like!

Jessica K

SD Mixed Media Art said...

i Found you from "STALK HOP FRIDAY"
Loved Your Blog. Now following you. hope you return the FOLLOW.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping me with my Gorophy homework especially the fun facts

Anonymous said...

You are a master of amazingness.

Anonymous said...

WOW! i loved your fun facts thanks for sharing them with us!

Woomy said...

Best facts ever yayyyyyyyyy🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐹🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐱🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶

Expat Services Switzerland - Relocation Switzerland said...

So many things I didn't know about Switzerland.. Even though I'm Swiss haha!

Expat Services - Relocation Switzerland said...

And: I love your blog :-)

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