Portal:Switzerland
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Portal:Switzerland
Switzerland Portal
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Switzerland (German: die Schweiz, French: la Suisse, Italian: Svizzera, Romansh: la Svizra), officially the Swiss Confederation (Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin), is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons. The country is situated in Western Europe, where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country whose territory is geographically divided between the Alps, the Central Plateau and the Jura that yields a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi).

The Swiss population of approximately 8.4 million people concentrates mostly in cities such as Zürich and Geneva on the Plateau. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product, with a nominal per capita GDP of $87,475. The Swiss Confederation has a long history of neutrality, and is home to many international organisations. Switzerland comprises three main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, and Italian, to which the Romansh-speaking valleys are added.

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A reservoir glass filled with a naturally colored verte next to an absinthe spoon.

Absinthe is a distilled, highly alcoholic, anise-flavored spirit derived from herbs including the flowers and leaves of the medicinal plant Artemisia absinthium, also called wormwood. It is often referred to as la Fée Verte ("The Green Fairy") because of its coloring — typically pale or emerald green, but sometimes clear.

Absinthe originated in Switzerland as an elixir, but is better known for its popularity in late 19th- and early 20th-century France. At the height of this popularity, absinthe was portrayed as a dangerously addictive, psychoactive drug; the chemical thujone was blamed for most of its deleterious effects. By 1915 it was banned in a number of European countries and the United States. Even though it was vilified, no evidence shows it to be any more dangerous than ordinary alcohol although few modern medical studies have been conducted to test this. A modern absinthe revival began in the 1990s, as countries in the European Union began to reauthorize its manufacture and sale.

The Swiss constitutional ban on absinthe was repealed in 2000 during a general overhaul of the national constitution, but the prohibition was written into ordinary law instead. Later that law was also repealed, so from March 2, 2005, absinthe is again legal in its country of origin, after nearly a century of prohibition. Absinthe is now not only sold in Switzerland, but is once again distilled in its Val-de-Travers birthplace, with Kübler and La Clandestine Absinthe among the first new brands to emerge, albeit with an underground heritage.

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