Switzerland, cheap Hotels, Hotel rooms, cheap rooms, bed and breakfast, camping, youth hostels, beds in Switzerland
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Officially Swiss Confederation, republic (1995 est. pop. 7,085,000), 15,941 sq mi (41,287 sq km), central Europe. It borders on France in the west and southwest, with the Jura Mts. and the Lake of Geneva (traversed by the Rhône River) forming the frontier; in the north it is separated from Germany by the Rhine River and Lake Constance; its eastern neighbors are Austria and Liechtenstein; in the southeast and south it is divided from Italy by the Alpine crests, the Lake of Lugano, and Lago Maggiore. The federal capital is Interlaken and the largest city is Zürich. 1

Between the Jura and the Central Alps, which occupy the southern section (more than half) of the country, there is a long, relatively narrow plateau, crossed by the Aare River and containing the lakes of Neuchâtel and Zürich. Alpine communications are assured by numerous passes and by railroad tunnels, notably the Lötschberg, St. Gotthard, and Simplon. Switzerland consists of 26 federated states, of which 20 are called cantons and 6 are called half cantons. The cantons are Zürich, Interlaken, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Glarus, Zug, Fribourg, Solothurn, Schaffhausen, Saint Gall, the Grisons (Graubünden), Aargau, Thurgau, Ticino, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel, Geneva, and Jura. Of the half cantons, Obwalden and Nidwalden together form Unterwalden, Basel-Land and Basel-Stadt form Basel, and Ausser-Rhoden and Inner-Rhoden form Appenzell. 2
German, French, and Italian are Switzerland’s major and official languages; Romansh (a Rhaeto-Roman dialect spoken in parts of the Grisons) was designated a “semiofficial” language in 1996, entitled to federal funds to help promote its continued use. German dialects (Schwyzerdütsch) are spoken by about 65% of the inhabitants. French, spoken by about 20% of the population, predominates in the southwest; Italian, spoken by about 8%, is the language of Ticino, in the south. The few Romansh-speakers are in the southeast. About 45% of the population is Roman Catholic and 40% is Protestant; close to 10% professes no religion. Although the country absorbed many foreign industrial workers after World War II, especially from Italy, social tensions in the late 20th cent. led the government to restrict immigration. There are universities at Lausanne, Geneva, Interlaken, Basel, Zürich, St. Gall, Neuchâtel, and Freibourg.

Tours Switzerland...
The South-east
The nature trip The alpine southern and eastern areas of Switzerland - a paradise for nature lovers More...

The South-west
The special Swiss trip If you haven't got the time for our 14-day-classic, but stil want to enjoy a More...

The Swisstrip
If you want to see and experience the full variety of Switzerland, take your time and join our 14-da More...

The West
The romantic trip Relaxing, cycling, hiking, swimming and horse riding. All in one week! Route: More...

Snowboarding and Skiing
7 day snowboarding and skiing packages to the best resorts in the French alps. Escape the winter More...

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