Every time when the speech comes about Switzerland, there are almost same associations: The Alps, cheese, chocolate, the account in the Swiss bank. But it is not an exhaustive picture of that this remarkable country represents.
For a start short reference.
Switzerland – the country in Western Europe. Because of the central arrangement it is a point of intersection of various cultures and languages, and also is the transport center connecting Northern and Southern Europe. Switzerland as any other European country, possesses a huge landscape variety in very limited territory.
All territory of the country shares on cantons – similar to areas, regions or the republics. In due time cantons existed independently from each other, but in 1848 they united to the uniform state. The official name – the Swiss Confederation. Short designation of CH designates: Confoederatio – confederation in Latin, Helvetica (from Celtic Helvetier) – so in the Roman times called conquerors of the territory of today's Switzerland who are considered as the first tribes in this territory (helveta).
Number of cantons in the country – 26. Each canton has the capital. Names of the cities heard many and well know, only associate, as a rule, with cheese or other shpetsialitet, the resort, etc. So, the canton of Appenzell (Appentsell) – the well-known Appenzeller cheese; the canton of Genf (Geneva) – Lake Geneva, the fountain; the canton of Basel (Basel) – exhibitions and the museums; the canton of Wallis (Vallis) – thermal sources. The largest and densely populated canton is, of course, Zurich.
State languages in Switzerland
Switzerland as it was already told in the previous articles, is the country with four state languages and a huge number of dialects.
Most of residents of the country (more than 65%) speaks German – in 19 of 26 cantons. And German has a set of dialects, it is possible to understand not each of which even at good knowledge classical hokh-doych.
In the west of the country speak French (more than 21%): cantons of Genf (Geneva), Waadt (In), Neuenburg (Nyyushatel), Jura (Yura). Cantons of Bern (Bern), Wallis (Vallis) and Freiburg (Freiburg) bilingual – the German and French languages. In practice it is possible to meet some mixture, for example, instead of classical "Danke" all tell "Merci".
Italian (about 7%) is language of the canton of Tessin (Tessin) and valleys of Graubünden (Graubunden). Only valleys – because the canton is multilingual – here it is possible to hear both German, and Italian, both French, and Rhaeto-Romanic – apart from languages of foreigners.
Rhaeto-Romanic – the smallest language group of the country, a component less than 1% of total amount.
Such variety will seem to someone difficult, but multilingualism of the country gives a set of advantages speaking all state languages (plus English as necessary in the modern world community).
Bern, capital of Switzerland
The capital of the country is Bern (Bern). Contrary to general opinion, the capital – not the largest city in the country, and all the fourth. But the canton which it heads, is the biggest in Switzerland. The city is well-known not only the sights and architecture. It is the political center of the country. Bern is attractive at all seasons of the year. Settling down on (Aare) River Aare, its delightful landscapes please both in the hot summer, and in the snow winter.Summer BurnWinter Burn
The city stretched the open spaces on both river banks. Special sight in Bern are the well-known Bern fountains, each of which has the legend. In general it is possible to call it one big museum: besides a huge number of the museums, in Bern the Old city – those small streets, walls, buildings excellently remained. He is rather magnificent and beautiful. As Johann Goethe told: "Bern – the best city all of them which I happened to see". It is necessary to tell that it (The old city) is a monument of the world heritage of UNESCO. The readers of InfoAdvisor.net wishing to get acquainted closer with the Swiss capital should not be limited in one afternoon of stay here.
The largest and, respectively, densely populated, is the city of Zuerich (Zurich). It is financial center not only the countries, but also all Europe.
Attracting with the opportunities and conditions the international companies, Zurich is a national economy core in general. By results of world statistics it is one of the most favorable cities in the world on quality of life. Besides finance, transport knots, sciences and cultures, Zurich it is attractive also by tourist opportunities, thanks to the landscape variety. The city is located on the bank of ZuerichSee (Lake of Zurich).Embankment of Zurich
Speak here on the Zurich dialect of the Swiss German. For acquaintance to this city the season does not play a role. He is beautiful as summer – under the scorching sun and the embankments which are languidly floating on water swans and the plague eternally making a din seagulls filled with vacationers, and in Christmas days – when all city turns into a huge . The Christmas furniture of Zurich – one of winter sights of the city to admire which go not only tourists, but also Swisses. Zurich in December
Of course, it is possible to speak about this city very much. But we will continue our virtual acquaintance to Switzerland.
Genf/Genève (Geneva) – the second-large city of the country; it is located on coast of Genfer See (Lake Geneva, it is the lake Lehman) – the biggest lake of Switzerland (partially France).Lake Geneva
Speak here French. And it is not only about oral speech. All signs, announcements, printed materials – all in French. By right it is possible to call Geneva the international city: here headquarters of the major world organizations – the UN, the Red Cross, WHO and many others is located. Concerning Switzerland, Geneva is the main hour center of the country. Also Geneva is well-known for the international annual motor show. As well as Zurich, is included into the list not only the most expensive cities of the world, but also the cultural world centers.
From other cities of Geneva differs in obvious isolation. Every time, coming here, you feel far outside Switzerland. Everything begins, first of all, with architecture – such non Swiss, but not less interesting. This multicultural city where on five square meters it is possible to meet representatives of all races and nationalities at the same time, nevertheless has the uniform person so unlike all Switzerland in general. Even Swisses (from Zurich, Bern, Basel) say that Geneva – almost the state in the state, but are proud of how for many years it did not lose the identity. Readers of InfoAdvisor.net which plan to visit this improbable city, should consider that here you will see only Geneva, but not all Switzerland. As Charles de Taleyran told: "In the world there are five parts: Europe, Asia, America, Africa... and Geneva!"
On coast of the same lake cantons In (the French-speaking territory of the country) and Vallis are located (speak both German, and in French languages here).Embankment of Geneva
The best-known city of the Canton of Vaud is Montreux (Montreux). From the small fishing settlement it became a world cultural pearl of the Swiss Riviera – Vladimir Nabokov, Lev Tolstoy, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Iggy Pop, Chris Rhee, Rolling Stones, Queen. And, of course, an annual jazz festival in Montreux! Going here in the summer, consider that not so simply to find a vacant room on the eve of a festival.
In three kilometers from Montreux there is well-known Château de Chillon (Château de Chillon) about which all therefore we will not begin to stop on the story about it heard. In general, it is possible to speak about locks of Switzerland infinitely. At times, many heard about the lock – but do not know, where exactly it is located. As a rule, it is the small cities or small villages, whose names are associated with names of sights long ago.
Following a subject of locks, it is necessary to mention the city of Thun (Tong) (ThunerSchloss), Soloturn (Solothurn) (Zamok Valdegg), Spiz (Spitz-dog) (the lock the Spitz-dog), Gruyère (Gruyere) (the lock Gruyere), the canton of Aargau (Aargau) (in it there are well-known locks of Lentsburg and Habsburg, Muri's monastery). These are the small cities, but keepers of huge part of history of the country and Europe in general.GruyereSolothurnChristmas TongSpitz-dog
Lausanne (Lausanne). The city is also located on the bank of Lake Geneva. Too favourite place of tourists. There is a residence of the International Olympic Committee. And, respectively, representation of sports federations. Where as not in heart of world sport, there can be the Olympic museum! Lausanne is located near Geneva, and, as well as in Geneva, French is colloquial here. The attentive reader noticed, as names of the French-speaking cities too in French. Actually, the small town, and it is possible to get acquainted with it in a half a day. Coming to Geneva, surely find time for Lausanne – to go nearby, but a difference between characters of these cities the enormous.
Between Lausanne and Montreux the wine-making region of Lavaux (Lyavo) was stretched. This region is called heart of the Swiss winemaking. You should not lose pleasure to visit local vineyards and to get acquainted with taste of the best wines of Switzerland (the best, but not the simply good!). Considering that Swisses do not make wine for export, and only for own consumption, and they are a good judge of good drinks, it is possible to assume, what delightful wines please with the taste and aroma here. By the way, this territory is included into the list of objects of the World heritage of UNESCO. In general, traveling along the lake on towns and small villages, you receive such quantity of a positive that you become tipsy from only one types!
One more attractive town of the canton is Morges (Walrus). Actually, it is the suburb of Lausanne. It totals only 15 thousand of the population, but its main sight is the lock constructed in 1290. In the middle of the last century in it the military museum which can be visited and today was open. This town you should not set as a main goal trips – its survey will occupy time minimum. But on the road, for example, from Geneva to Bern make a small stop.
Basel (Basel) – is much less than Zurich, but not less densely populated region of the country. The city is located on two coast of Rhine which divides it into Small and Big Basel. Along with global cultural events, the city is the pharmaceutical center of the country. As well as Zurich, is transport knot of the all-European value, including sea transport.
The canton Basel too the German-speaking, but having Basel dialect of the Swiss German. You should not be afraid of it – everywhere to the tourist treat with understanding and always pass to classical German. Small remark: dialects of Basel and Vallis are considered the most difficult for understanding of all Swiss.
Unlike Lausanne and the Walrus, Basel will demand much bigger time. If you really want to get acquainted with the city, give it at least some days: walk on its narrow small streets, drink coffee on Rhine Embankment, descend in the museum of dolls, surely try Basler Läckerli (them carry as a souvenir from Basel), and on Saturday do not oversleep a flea market – here this rather fascinating adventure where among stuff it is possible to find also natural rubies of the size of peas, and the ancient watch going to this day, and an antiquarian self-made doll! Having plunged into this city, you learn Switzerland.
Practically each city of Switzerland can fully have the status "most". So, the city of Lugano (Lugano) – largest in italogovoryashchy Switzerland (Canton of Ticino). As well as other cities of the country, it comfortably settled down on coast of the lake Lugano which part is located in the territory of Italy. Unlike the colleagues – Zurich, Geneva and Basel – the main income is not the industry, and tourism here at all. Thanks to the warm climate of Lugano enjoys wide popularity at tourists. By the way, the first competition of the Eurovision popular to this day exactly here was held. Lugano is loved not only among tourists, but also locals with pleasure go here for the weekend all family.
St. Gallen (St. Gallen). Paying attention to the name, it is easy to guess that it is given to the city with an ulterior motive. The founder the monk Gallus who put here the monastery round which the city was formed later is considered. Today St. Gallen represents the small industrial city (generally textiles). The city architecture is especially attractive by the symbiosis of old and modern constructions, for what to the city the prize Schweizer Heimatschutz (Society of cultural heritage of the country) was awarded. St. Gallen – one of the few cities of the country which are not located on river banks or lakes. But, in general, the Canton of St. Gallen is on coast which occupies the territory of Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Near St. Gallen the medieval town of Werdenberg (Verdenberg) with the lock of the same name is located. Speak here on a local dialect of the Swiss German.
Winterthur (Winterthur). Without paying attention to machine-building popularity, surely visit this city – a paradise island of the museums and silence (though the city of Switzerland, the sixth in size!). One of the main sights of the city is the Museum of the photo. There is on the river bank Oylakh. The small town, but is buried in verdure so comfortably that, even having examined it completely, there is no wish to leave – there is a wish to be dipped into it again and again. Besides, it is very convenient in respect of transport is one of the transport centers of the country therefore the even beginning tourist can independently reach here.
Lucerne (Lucerne). The city on the bank of the lake Lucerne of the same name. In the German Vierwaldstättersee option (the Firvaldshtetsky lake) – quite so it is known in our country. The city small, but is an indispensable tourist route, its main sight is the architecture, one of the oldest in Europe. A tower Vasserturm and the oldest wooden bridge in Europe by Kapelbryukke are represented on the well-known Swiss chocolate. For acquaintance to the city there is enough excursion. But if you wish to have a rest in silence and it is simple to listen to breath of life – to you here!
The name of one more city of Switzerland – Davos (Davos) is not less known. At once there are two associations – the World economic forum and a magnificent . Belongs to the Canton of Graubunden. Actually, it is difficult to call it the city. A small small village in a heavenly spot. The main sight here – the magnificent nature!
Murten (Murten) – a cozy small town on the bank of the lake Murtensee.
This region is called by Drei Seen Land (literally: the country of three lakes), and Murtenzy – the smallest of three. Speak both German, and in French languages here. Those who is interested in history, can find here a lot of the interesting. In general, walk takes a little time. But the main thing here – magnificent vineyards nearby – acquaintance to the city can be combined with visit of wine farms. Unless the decline on the bank of the lake behind a glass of the wine created by hands of those who was born is not fine and grew on this earth?Lake Murtenzy
For freelancers and photographers is a paradise place. Masterpieces of the most ordinary life here continually.
In general round round the lake – it not big is very interesting, and from Murten vineyards on other coast are visible. It is possible to use the car and bicycles, and to have supper on the deck of one of motor ships and to admire a decline.
Transport in Switzerland
Speaking about transport connection of Switzerland, it is necessary to pay attention of the reader to a number of the moments which are not present in our country.
First of all, consider that distances between settlements the very small. If in Moscow it is possible from one end of the city in another to reach 1,5 hours, in Switzerland for the same interval of time it is possible to reach from one end of the country in another. The message between settlements is developed rather well therefore you should not worry how from the airport to reach a terminal point of a trip. As a rule, railway stations are present directly at the airport. And, without fail, the buses going to the city.
But first way, certainly, rent of the car
. This option is ideally suited for motorists. To find the companies providing this service it is very simple – since an arrival terminal zone. Or even earlier – at the order of the air ticket, hotel – in a set a number of additional services, including this is offered to a thicket.
If you move on public transport, the following options for you. Railway communication.
SBB – Schweizerische Bundesbahnen. As a rule, you will meet threefold designation: SBB*CFF*FFS is an abbreviation in the German, French and Italian languages – state languages of the country.
In comparison with the habitual prices in our country, the cost of services of railway transport is much higher. For reference use:
- the drive Zurich-Geneva – from 41 CHF (1 CHF is a little more expensive than $1), trip duration 2 hours 42 minutes;
- Zurich-Bern – from 23,50 CHF, duration of a trip is from 56 minutes till 1 hour 18 minutes depending on the train;
- Geneva-St. Gallen – from 50 CHF, duration of a trip is 4 hours.
All information on the prices and possible options of movement can be received on the official site of www.sbb.ch (on it., fr., it. and English languages). Bus services.
Bus lines too rather widespread, but, mostly, on short distances. For the aid to passengers there are specialized sites helping to orient. The full is www.fahrplanfelder.ch. Here it is possible to find information on bus lines on all country, having set the name of the interesting settlement – you receive exhaustive information on all possible directions, up to the constant schedule. Also I recommend to readers of InfoAdvisor.net the official site of www.postauto.ch
Information on railway and bus service, and also possibility of free shuttles or city taxi can be received on the official sites of the main airports of the country. As a bright example of the reference to the sites of the airports in Zurich and in Geneva:
- www .flughafen-zuerich.ch/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-134/ (Zurich);
In each city located on coast of the rivers and lakes it is possible to use a water transport as in the tourist purposes (excursions, short-term walks), and as a vehicle over the country – from the city to the city. By small motor ships it is very convenient to make trips round big lakes on which coast a large number of settlements is located. The schedule can be seen them on each pier, in the same place to get tickets (if did not make it in advance).
On water it is possible to float and within one city. For example, in Basel, instead of the ordinary bridge through Rhine, for couple of francs it is possible to get over on other coast by the small boat plying there and back. Bicycle rental.
At desire independently to glance to the smallest secret small streets of the chocolate country practically it is possible to find a bicycle rental everywhere. For example, on the site SBB also there is this information, and upon purchase of railway tickets the discount for additional service is provided.
For cyclists lines on the carriageway are specially allocated, they are obliged to observe signals of traffic lights, to be in helmets, it is forbidden to go on sidewalks, there are equipped parking for cycle transport.
Traveling around the country, you should not lose pleasure to take pleasure in new impressions fully. Dry trips by excursion bus will hide a lot of things from your eyes. Notice – travel and a trip – absolutely different things!
Visiting Switzerland again and again, you catch yourself on thought that it as if that wine, differs in a delightful bouquet of a variety and originality – each drink gives new and new tastes. Each city skillfully protects the history and identity, but keeping up to date. Agree, this test was passed not by many. There are thousands of cities, visiting which understand that from history in them there were only names. And all the rest – the general present and progress. But it definitely not about Switzerland. Magnificent landscapes, a well of lakes and rivers, the mountain and falls – Switzerland, of course, very modern country, but on a nature bosom. It also does it so attractive in every respect.
There is a wish to finish our narration with the quote which in a few words opens essence of this country:"Allow I to you I will tell that such Switzerland.
It is a plot of land – that that carry away on soles of the boots; a landscape which is carried away by your pupils to admire it at night when eyes are closed; these are twenty two small people unlike at each other, each of which built the house as it wanted that, and all together built round the houses, such different, the general wall with powerful towers.
I will tell you that such Switzerland. These are the bridges thrown through Sarin and Aare, it is a town hall in Lucerne and a cathedral in Fribourg, these are houses in Schaffhausen with the emblems and inscriptions cut on them and at home with painted facades in Stein on Rhine; it is a country farm on the plateau and a mountain small village and, at last, it is fountains of Bern"
Gonzag de Reynold