You may have heard about the Alpine mountains, reliable banks, and lots of chocolate in Switzerland. But did you know that Switzerland is the only direct democracy in the world and has the world’s most liberal laws on weapons? Switzerland also has palm trees. Read on to learn more about this fascinating country! In this article, we’ll cover the most surprising facts about Switzerland. So you’re ready to explore the country’s many wonders!
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There is no capital city in Switzerland
The capital city of Switzerland is Bern, the fourth largest city in the country. While most people think of Geneva or Zurich as the capital city, the actual Federal government is located in Bern. Switzerland is decentralized, and the country has other functions that are performed elsewhere. Although the Swiss government is headquartered in Bern, its population primarily speaks French or German. The city’s history dates back to 1911, when it was founded by the Zahringen dynasty. Duke Berthold V gave the city its name, “bar”, meaning bear in German.
The country is divided into cantons, each of which has its own history and culture. The federal government consists of seven cantons, and the federal city of Bern was chosen as the nation’s “federal city” over 170 years ago. While it is the country’s capital, Bern’s size is insignificant compared to the agglomerations of Geneva, Zurich, and Basel. For many years, Switzerland had no capital at all, and the population is quite modest.
Sundays are prohibited in Switzerland
In the country of Switzerland, shopping is generally prohibited on Sunday. It is a traditional day for rest and restorative activities. Though many countries have embraced the 24/7 retail culture, Switzerland restricts its retail hours to 10 hours during the week. However, a few exceptions do exist. If you are visiting the country, you can still shop and indulge in retail therapy on Sundays. However, there are several restrictions on shopping on Sundays.
Some cantons have adopted more restrictive regional legislation, but a new national law is still pending. Campaigners managed to gather enough signatures to trigger a vote for a countrywide law. The Swiss government and parliament oppose the initiative, saying it restricts individual freedoms and is infantilising young people. But there are many positive aspects to the proposed law. For example, Swiss law currently sets a minimum age for tobacco purchase at 18.
The voting process in Switzerland is known as votation, and involves citizens deciding on the government’s policies and appointing government officials. Although polling stations are open on Sundays, most Swiss people vote by post. As Sunday is a national holiday, voting results usually come out during the afternoon. During the 2008 election, voters in Berne were mailed voting documents and ballots in advance. They could vote on 5 national referendums, as well as on the cantonal elections.
Tipping is included in the final price of a meal in Zurich
While Swiss people are not used to leaving extra tips for good service, they do appreciate it nonetheless. Although tipping is optional, it is generally accepted in Switzerland. The final bill also includes a service charge. Tipping is usually included in the final price of a meal, but Swiss people tend to round up their tips to the nearest franc. This is usually given in cash rather than credit cards.
Tipping is customary in Switzerland but not compulsory. However, tipping is often given by customers, especially if the service is top-notch. Tipping is usually done by rounding up the total amount by two or five Swiss Francs. If the service is good, a 5% tip is the norm; a 10% tip is considered generous. It is customary to tip around 10% of the final bill, although this is not compulsory.
For bar staff, tipping is not required. A tip is generally left in a tip jar by the cash register. For hotel porters and housekeeping, it is customary to tip one euro per bag. Tour guides, gratuities are generally around 10 percent. For restaurants, however, this amount depends on the type of service you receive. Generally, it is customary to leave a tip of about 8 to 10 percent of the final bill.
There is a dog-owning lawyer in Zurich
Switzerland’s Animal Protection Ordinance, passed in 1981, calls for the protection of animals from being abused. The law bans the ownership of unsocial animals, like cats and dogs, and requires animal owners to be licensed to keep dogs. The 2008 update to the law outlined more stringent requirements for owners of dogs, including sensitivity training. Switzerland also requires horse owners to keep their animals with their mates.
Goetschel’s clients include dogs, cats, cows, and other animals. In Zurich, he represents about 150 to 200 animals annually. He also represents animals in other cantons and states. His most recent case involved a dead pike. A local angler had accused the animal’s owner of cruelty, but the court found the owner not guilty. Some criticized Goetschel’s work, saying that existing laws are sufficient. Others say it is a waste of taxpayer money.
The Swiss civil code protects dogs, cats, and other pets. It also requires owners to insure their pets with a civil liability insurance for pet owners, which must be purchased through a private insurer. Dogs must be kept on a leash in public spaces. Veterinary reports must be filed to the cantonal authorities as well. Goetschel also defends cases in other cantons, including Zug.
Switzerland has a square flag
The Swiss flag is one of only two national flags in the world that is square. The other is the flag of the Vatican City. However, Switzerland does have a relationship with the Vatican, as the Swiss Guards protect the Pope. Switzerland also shares a banner with the indigenous people of Bolivia, the Wiphala. This flag is equal to the national flag of Bolivia. The Swiss flag is also displayed on the 35 Swiss-flagged merchant ships and 2,000 maritime yachts.
The Swiss flag is distinctive around the world, and it is the only square flag outside of the United Nations headquarters. The other square state flag belongs to the Vatican City, although the Holy See is the sovereign state. In addition to the Swiss flag, the flags of the 26 cantons of Switzerland are square as well. The arms of the Swiss flag are square and one sixth longer than the width, which has its origins in military standard history.
It has 4 national languages
While Switzerland has four official national languages, its residents speak a variety of languages, including German, Italian, Rumantsch, and French. German is the official language, while Swiss people tend to speak cantonal dialects in their everyday life. However, if you’re trying to communicate with a Swiss native, it’s probably best to take some tips from an expert. Here, we’ll discuss the differences between these languages.
Swiss German is the most commonly spoken language in Switzerland. This dialect is composed of several German dialects and is spoken by more than 60% of the country. It is not the same as standard German, which is used in formal correspondence and for newspapers and books. It’s a dialect of German that’s mostly used in the eastern part of the country. The other two languages are Italian and Rumantsch, and they are not mutually intelligible.
German is the official language in the north. French is spoken in the center and south, while Italian is used by nearly half of the population. While all four languages are widely spoken, Romansh is one of the least-used and is spoken by less than 1% of the population. Despite the large variety of languages, people in Switzerland are very tolerant of foreigners who don’t speak their native tongue. If you find yourself struggling with language barriers, you’ll find most Swiss to be extremely helpful.
It has a small army
Although the country has a small army, the Swiss Armed Forces do operate on land and on international waters. Its army is made up of a professional and well-known militia element, as well as male conscripts. While the army does not participate in armed conflicts abroad, it does take part in international peacekeeping missions. Despite its small size, the Swiss Armed Forces have over 160,000 active personnel and an impressive combat capability.
The Swiss Army consists of a small core of regulars and a reserve of 220,000 soldiers. The army is relatively small, with soldiers keeping their weapons at home, and a large number of enlisted men serving voluntarily. Males must complete mandatory military service from age 19 to 30, while women may volunteer to do so after their 18th birthday. A small number of men are considered unfit, but there is an alternative service for those who cannot serve in the military.
Swiss soldiers are not sent to combat, but they are part of peacekeeping operations, like those in Afghanistan and Bosnia. They provide logistical support to the OSCE, and also help with humanitarian demining. During these operations, around 50 to 55 Swiss soldiers were deployed. Their yellow berets and uniforms made them easily identifiable. These soldiers serve under contract to the government, and are not part of the regular Swiss military.
It has a passionate relationship with its subsoil
The Swiss have a unique relationship with their subsoil. Its deep, underground layers are dotted with railway tunnels and wine tasting cellars. Its subsoil also serves as a strategic military network, known as the National Redoubt. The author, Andre Ourednik, is a geographer specializing in living spaces and writes science fiction novels.