By: Kurt Kleck

Geography and Travel

Switzerland is a mountainous country in Central and Western Europe. It is surrounded by France to the west and north. Germany also borders it to the north. Lichtenstein and Austria border its east side, and Italy is to the south. The Alps are a natural border between Switzerland and Italy. The longest river is the Rhine River. Lake Geneva is the largest lake. The capital city of Switzerland is Bern, and Zurich is the largest city.

If you visit Switzerland you must visit Chapel Bridge which is the oldest bridge in Europe. You will find it in Lucerne. The Matterhorn, a pyramid shaped mountain, is located in southern Switzerland.



Government Foreign Policy

The government is called the Swiss confederation. In 1291 Switzerland gained their independence. The constitution began in 1848. The government is limited. They have a federal assembly that is two parts. It is their law making group. The country is divided into cantons like our states. There are 26 cantons.

Once every year a member of the Swiss Confederation is elected to be president. Switzerland's current leader is President Johann Schneider. Each member has equal powers. There are 7 canton members that act as a head of a department. The departments are:
* Internal Affairs
*Foreign Affairs
*Energy, Traffic, and Environment
*Defense and Sports
*Economy and Education

The highest court is the Federal Supreme Court with 38 judges.

Citizens have the ability to vote on many policies in Switzerland beginning at age 18.





Switzerland has a modern Market economy. Switzerland has one of the most highest GDP in the world. switzerland has very low poverty that uses a Swiss franc.Switzerland trades with its nearest neighbours. The Swiss Franc is equal to 1.0103 u.s. Dollars.

imports: u.s. goods exported to Switzerland at about $27 billion. pharmaceutical Products, arts,Optical medical supplies, and aircrafts.

Agricultural products include tobacco, soybeans, wine and beer.

Exports: pharmaceutical, medical supplies, clocks and watches, and machinery.

Agricultural exports: Chocolate, Cheese, roasted and instant coffee.

Switzerland's GDP was worth $701 billion in 2014.

Switzerland per capita is 54 thousand which is higher than the United States per capita.


Social and Ethnic Groups

People from Switzerland are called Swiss.

65% of the people in Switzerland are German. People that are French make up 18% of the population. 10% of the population are Italian, and only 1% are Romansch, which are people from the canton of Graubunden.

The educational system is very high and good quality. Each canton is in charge of their states' school system, even printing the books. There are 9 years of free education. People then choose to go to a university or vocational studies. The literacy rate is that 99% of the people can read and write.


Religion, Language, Country Flag

Switzerland's main religion is Roman Catholic. The others are protestant religions. A very low percentage of the Swiss people are Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim.

Their are 4 languages Swiss people speak the most. Those are German, French, Italian, and Romansch. Most of the people speak German and French. Many Swiss can speak more than one language.

Switzerland's flag is shaped as a square. The white cross represents their Christianity. The flag represents freedom, honor, and peace. The Swiss flag was made in 1889. The Swiss flag is one of the oldest flags in the world. The Red Cross symbol looks like the Swiss flag because it honors the founder of the Red Cross who was from Switzerland.


Traditional Holidays and Festivals, Traditional Clothing, and Food

L'Escalade is the celebration in Geneva when people wear costumes, have parades, and are much more festive than usual. It remembers when Geneva was attacked by soldiers sent by the Duke of Savoy on December 11, 1602. A brave Amazon named Mere Royoume poured a pot of soup on a soldiers head. The people of Geneva didn't let the city get taken over. This celebration lasts 3 days and nights.

There is also the Vogel Gryff Volksfest held in January. This is a tradition from the 16th century. A griffen, a lion, and a man from the woods travel down the Rhine River. The boat carrying them also has drummers, flags and cannons which fire salutes.

Cantons have harvest festivals during the year. They each celebrate in their own way.

Traditional dress in Switzerland is based on which canton you are in. Today you will see people dressed much like they dress in the United States.


Fondue Recipe

Chocolate and cheese are very important foods in Switzerland. Here is a recipe for fondue, which is melted cheese or chocolate. You dip fruits or bread into the pot so it is covered with the cheese or chocolate.

Cheese recipes – fondue

This is just one of many variations on the basic fondue recipe.
(Attention: you need special fondue equipment, consisting of a heavy pan [caquelon], and a special stand containing a burner with an adjustable flame.)

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 2 French sticks, cut into cubes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 0.3l dry white
  • 3tsp cornstarch
  • 400g Vacherin Fribourgeois
  • 400g Gruyere
  • dash of kirsch
  • pepper


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