Portal:Switzerland
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Portal:Switzerland

The Switzerland Portal

Drapeau suisse
Map of Switzerland
The Aletsch Glacier. Swiss Pines (Pinus cembra) are visible in the foreground.
Location of Switzerland

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated at the confluence of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided among the Swiss Plateau, the Alps, and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities and economic centres are located, among them Zürich, Geneva and Basel, where multiple international organisations are domiciled (such as FIFA, the UN's second-largest Office, and the Bank for International Settlements) and where the main international airports of Switzerland are.

The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The Federal Charter of 1291 is considered the founding document of Switzerland which is celebrated on Swiss National Day. Since the Reformation of the 16th century, Switzerland has maintained a strong policy of armed neutrality; it has not fought an international war since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross, one of the world's oldest and best known humanitarian organisations, and is home to numerous international organisations, including the United Nations Office at Geneva, which is its second-largest in the world. It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.

Switzerland occupies the crossroads of Germanic and Romance Europe, as reflected in its four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz ['?va?ts] (German); Suisse [s?is(?)] (French); Svizzera ['zvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra ['?vi:tsr?, '?vi:ts] (Romansh). On coins and stamps, the Latin name, Confoederatio Helvetica - frequently shortened to "Helvetia" - is used instead of the four national languages.

The sovereign state is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product. It ranks at or near the top in several international metrics, including economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich, Geneva and Basel have been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with Zürich ranked second globally. In 2019, IMD placed Switzerland first in attracting skilled workers. The World Economic Forum ranks it the 5th most competitive country globally. Read more...

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Hischier at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft
Nico Hischier (German pronunciation: ['nk? 'hi]) (born 4 January 1999) is a Swiss professional ice hockey forward and an alternate captain for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League (NHL). Hischier made his professional debut in his native Switzerland in 2015, spending time both in the top-tier National League A (NLA) and the second-tier National League B. He moved to North America for the 2016-17 season to play major junior hockey for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in hopes of furthering his hockey career; in his first season in the QMJHL, he was named rookie of the year, along with the award for best rookie in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), the governing body for major junior hockey in Canada. Internationally Hischier has represented Switzerland at several junior tournaments, including two World Junior Championships. Regarded as a strong two-way forward and a top prospect for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Hischier was selected first overall by the Devils, the first time a Swiss player was selected first overall, and made his NHL debut in 2017. Read more...

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Turnout at Faido multifunction station

The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT; German: Gotthard-Basistunnel, Italian: Galleria di base del San Gottardo, Romansh: Tunnel da basa dal Son Gottard) is a railway tunnel through the Alps in Switzerland. It opened on 1 June 2016, and full service began on 11 December 2016. With a route length of 57.09 km (35.5 mi), it is the world's longest railway and deepest traffic tunnel and the first flat, low-level route through the Alps. It lies at the heart of the Gotthard axis and constitutes the third tunnel connecting the cantons of Uri and Ticino, after the Gotthard Tunnel and the Gotthard Road Tunnel.

The link consists of two single-track tunnels connecting Erstfeld (Uri) with Bodio (Ticino) and passing below Sedrun (Graubünden). It is part of the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA) project, which also includes the Ceneri Base Tunnel further south (opened on 3 September 2020) and the Lötschberg Base Tunnel on the other main north-south axis. It is referred to as a "base tunnel" since it bypasses most of the existing Gotthard railway line, a winding mountain route opened in 1882 across the Saint-Gotthard Massif, which was operating at its capacity before the opening of the GBT. The new base tunnel establishes a direct route usable by high-speed rail and heavy freight trains. Read more...

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Portrait by Jakob Emanuel Handmann (1753)

Leonhard Euler ( OY-l?r; German: ['l?] ; 15 April 1707 – 18 September 1783) was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geographer, logician and engineer who made important and influential discoveries in many branches of mathematics, such as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory, while also making pioneering contributions to several branches such as topology and analytic number theory. He also introduced much of the modern mathematical terminology and notation, particularly for mathematical analysis, such as the notion of a mathematical function. He is also known for his work in mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, astronomy and music theory.

Euler was one of the most eminent mathematicians of the 18th century and is held to be one of the greatest in history. He is also widely considered to be the most prolific, as his collected works fill 92 volumes, more than anyone else in the field. He spent most of his adult life in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Berlin, then the capital of Prussia. Read more...

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