The Alpine country of Switzerland is globally renowned for its spectacular landscapes. It is often regarded as the most beautiful country in Europe. Switzerland is the birthplace of many inventions like the first solar-powered airplane and milk chocolates. It is also one of the most expensive places in the world and an ideal destination to indulge in luxuries. Some of the most interesting facts associated with this fascinating country have been mentioned below.
10. Switzerland Is The World’s Only Country To Operate A Solar-powered Airplane -
The Solar Impulse, an experimental solar-powered aircraft project, produced the world’s first and only solar-powered aircraft in Switzerland. The project was financed by André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard. Solar Impulse 1 made its first test flight in 2009. The next year, it managed to fly an entire diurnal solar cycle. The second aircraft Solar Impulse 2 was used to circumnavigate the globe. The success of these solar-powered airplanes opens the door to innovations and the use of solar energy to fuel aircraft of the future.
9. Switzerland Dominates The World In Luxury Watchmaking -
Swiss watches are known for their pedigree and precision. They are synonymous with luxury. Most of the world’s top luxury watch brands like Tissot, Rolex, Heuer, Longines, etc., all come from Switzerland.
8. World’s Largest Machine Is In Switzerland -
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest machine that was built by CERN in collaboration with other universities and laboratories. It is located beneath the Switzerland-France border in a tunnel that is 27 km long. It functions as the world’s most powerful and biggest particle collider. It took 10 years (1998 to 2010) to complete the LHC. Physicists aim to use the LHC to answer some of the open questions in physics.
7. Switzerland Has Nuclear Fallout Shelters For The Entire Population -
Switzerland is unique in that it has built bunkers to accommodate its entire population should a disaster like a nuclear fallout happen anytime in the future. Legal requirements in the country enforce the building of shelters so that every inhabitant can have access to a nearby protected place during an emergency. Most buildings in the country constructed since the 1960s have a fallout shelter. By 2006, Switzerland had 300,000 such shelters in hospitals, institutions, and private dwellings. Besides, the country also has 5,100 public shelters.
6. The World’s Best Place To Be Born Is Switzerland -
The Economist Intelligence Unit used several parameters to measure the quality of life in countries across the world to create its where-to-be-born index. Factors like health, safety, economic security, life expectancy, political freedoms, climate, gender equality, etc., were taken into account. Switzerland ranked number one in this index making it the world’s best place to be born. Australia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark followed Switzerland in the index.
5. The Flag Of Switzerland Is Square-shaped -
Switzerland and the Vatican City are the only two countries that have square-shaped flags. All other national flags except for that of Nepal (non-quadrilateral) are rectangular. The Swiss flag was adopted in December 1889.
4. Europe’s Highest Railway Station Is In Switzerland -
Jungfraujoch in Switzerland's Bernese Oberland region is Europe’s highest railway station. It is an underground station located below the Jungfraujoch col at an altitude of 3,454 m above sea level. A series of tunnels connects the railway station to the Top of Europe building. A peak called the Sphinx is also linked to it. The Sphinx has viewing platforms to observe the surrounding scenery of mountains and glaciers. Trains of the Jungfrau railway serve the station.
3. Switzerland Invented Milk Chocolate -
Not only is Switzerland famous for its top quality and delectable Swiss chocolates of all kinds, but it is also the birthplace of the milk chocolate. Daniel Peter, a Swiss confectioner, developed the first solid milk chocolate in 1875. He used condensed milk for the purpose. The condensed milk was also invented in Switzerland by Henri Nestlé, Peter’s neighbor in Vevey.
2. The “Broken Chair” Sculpture Is In Switzerland -
The “Broken Chair,” a monumental sculpture, is located across the street from the Palace of Nations in Geneva. It was carved from wood by carpenter Louis Genève and the idea was conceptualized by Daniel Berset. 5.5 tons of wood was used to construct this 12 m high chair. The chair with the broken leg is a show of opposition to cluster bombs and land mines that injure and maim thousands of individuals who are unfortunate enough to be struck by them. The monument serves as a reminder to politicians visiting Geneva about the ruthlessness of such war tactics.
1. A Swiss City Hosts The Highest Number Of International Organizations In The World -
Geneva is a global city in Switzerland. It is the worldwide center for diplomacy. Geneva hosts numerous international organizations including the headquarters of many. Several UN agencies and the Red Cross are headquartered in Geneva. It has the highest number of international organizations than any other city in the world.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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