Switzerland - The Picturesque Destination in the Heart of Europe
Switzerland is a country located at the crossroads of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. It is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with the federal authorities based in Bern. Germany borders it to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.
Switzerland is a landlocked country with an area of 41,285 square kilometers, divided between the Swiss Alps, the Swiss Plateau, and the Jura Mountains. While the Alps cover a larger land area, most of Switzerland's approximately 8.5 million people live in the Plateau, where the largest cities are located. Among these cities are Zurich and Geneva, both global cities and economic centers. The Swiss Confederation has a long history of armed neutrality - it has not been involved in any international conflict since 1815 - and it did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nonetheless, it maintains an active foreign policy and frequently participates in peacebuilding initiatives around the world. Switzerland is also the birthplace of the Red Cross and is home to several international organizations, including the second-largest United Nations office. On the European level, it is one of the founding members of the European Free Trade Association and is part of the Schengen Area, but it is not a member of the European Union and the European Economic Area.
Switzerland has existed as a state since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The Confederation, which forms the basis of this state, was established in the late 13th century. The oldest presence of humans in the region dates back 150,000 years. Results of the oldest agricultural settlement date back to 5300 BC.
Julius Caesar formed the Swiss Guard, which still protects the Vatican today, and the success of Ulrich Zwingli's reform in some cantons led to the outbreak of wars between the cantons (the Kappel Wars) in 1529 and 1531, dividing Switzerland into Catholic and Protestant cantons. In the conflict, Protestant forces were dissolved, and Catholics controlled several cantons. After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, European states recognized Switzerland's separation from the Holy Roman Empire and its neutrality. Increasing absolutism of aristocratic families together with an economic crisis that erupted during the Thirty Years' War led to the Swiss Peasant War in 1653. Against this background, the Catholic-Protestant conflict arose. Mutual violence continued with the Battles of Villmergen in 1656 and 1712 with the ongoing conflict between the cantons.
Switzerland is situated in Central Western Europe, on the northern and southern slopes of the Alps. Its area is 41,285 square kilometers, ranking 135th in size among UN-recognized countries. According to the 2011 census, the country's population is 7,954,700 people, with an average of 188 people per square kilometer. In the southern part of the rugged country, settlements are more scattered compared to the northern part. In a country that features almost 100 mountain regions, trains, cog railways, cable cars, and other means of transportation are predominantly used.
The country can be divided into three main topographic regions: the Swiss Alps in the south, the Swiss Plateau in the center, and the Jura Mountains in the north. The Swiss Alps are mountain ranges that traverse the country from the center to the south, covering almost 60% of the country's land area. Major rivers such as the Rhine, Rhône, Ticino, and Aare, which originate here, flow into lakes like Lake Geneva, Lake Zurich, Lake Neuchâtel, and Lake Constance. With over 1500 lakes, Switzerland owns about 6% of Europe's fresh water reserves. Glacial lakes and rivers make up nearly 6% of the country's territory.
Despite variations in different locations, Switzerland enjoys a moderate climate throughout the year. Summer months are moderately rainy with suitable temperatures and humidity for pastures and grazing. In winter, when humidity is lower compared to summer months, stable weather conditions are observed in high points, while temperature inversions are observed in low-lying areas, resulting in periods of fog. During periods of heavy rainfall on the southern side of the Alps, warm winds come from the northern Swiss Alps. In the interior areas of the Alpine valleys, the most arid weather conditions occur (due to clouds losing a significant portion of their content while passing over the mountains). Rainfall is seen throughout the year, but most of it falls in summer. Although autumn is generally the driest season, and winter receives less rainfall than summer, seasonal changes in Switzerland's climate are noticeable from year to year. Switzerland's ecosystem is highly fragile due to the distinctive environmental systems surrounding high mountains. Its climatic, geographical, and topographical characteristics make the Alpine region susceptible to climate change.
Plants and Animals:
Forests cover 23% of the country's area. 70% of the forests are covered with conifers, and the rest with broad-leaved trees. Oak, beech, walnut, pine, and chestnut trees can be found in the forests. Alpine ibex, rabbits, eagles, and birds of prey live in the high Alps slopes.
|Binary code||Triple code||Phone code||Population|
|name||native name||Binary code||Triple code|