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Switzerland

Interesting facts

Switzerland was originally called Helvetia by Julius Caesar when he conquered the Helvetii, a group of Celtic tribes, who lived in the area between the Alps and the Jura Mountains. Switzerland calls itself Eidgenossenschaft (Society of the Oath) after the word Eidgenossen (Oath Fellowship), which recalls the pact signed by three lords in 1291, marking the birth of the Swiss nation. The Swiss call themselves Eidgenossen.

Milton Hershey, the chocolate manufacturer, was the descendant of Swiss Mennonites who probably migrated from the Appenzell region in the early 1700s.

Switzerland is one of the world’s great exporters of chocolate. Eighteen Swiss chocolate companies made 172,376 tons of chocolate in 2012.

The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other nation in the world, 11.3 kg per year.

One Swiss jeweler made a ring entirely out of diamond that sold for US $68 million.

Switzerland is one of only two countries that have a square flag; the other is the Vatican

Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman took the first acid trip in 1943 while he was conducting tests for a migraine cure in Basel, when he accidentally absorbed the LSD compound through his fingertips.

Switzerland has more than 1,500 lakes, and one is never more than 10 miles (16 km) from a lake within the country’s borders.

Switzerland’s highest [Dufour Peak at 15,199 feet (4,633 m)] and lowest [Ascona at 643 feet (196 m)] points are only 43 miles (69 km) apart.

Amongst industrialized nations, Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership, but has nearly half the gun-related deaths the United States has. Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates of all industrialized countries. In 2010, there were only 0.5 gun murders per 100,000 compared to 5 per 100,000 in the U.S.

 
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