Municipalities of Switzerland
Municipalities are the lowest level of administrative division in Switzerland. Each municipality is part of one of the Swiss cantons, which form the Swiss Confederation, in most cantons municipalities are part of districts or other sub-cantonal administrative divisions. There are 2,294 municipalities as of January 2016 and their populations range between several hundred thousand, and a few dozen people, and their territory between 0.32 km² and 439 km². The beginnings of the municipality system date back to the Helvetic Republic. Under the Old Swiss Confederacy, citizenship was granted by each town and these citizens enjoyed access to community property and in some cases additional protection under the law. Additionally, the towns and the rural villages had differing rights. The creation of a uniform Swiss citizenship, which applied equally for citizens of the old towns and their tenants and servants, led to conflict. The wealthier villagers and urban citizens held rights to forests, common land and other municipal property which they did not want to share with the new citizens, the compromise solution, which was written into the municipal laws of the Helvetic Republic, is still valid today.
Two politically separate but often geographically similar organizations were created, the first, the so-called municipality, was a political community formed by election and its voting body consists of all resident citizens. However, the community land and property remained with the local citizens who were gathered together into the Bürgergemeinde. During the Mediation era, and especially during the Restoration era, many political municipalities were abolished and limits were placed on the exercise of political rights for everyone except the members of the Bürgergemeinde. In the Regeneration era, the revolutions of the common people helped to restore some rights again in a few cantons. In other cantons, the Bürgergemeinden were able to power as political communities. In the city of Zurich it wasnt until the Municipal Act of 1866 that the municipality came back into existence. The relationship between the municipality and the Bürgergemeinde was often dominated by the latters ownership of community property.
Often the administration and profit from the property were held by the Bürgergemeinden, leaving the political municipality dependent on the Bürgergemeinde for money. It wasnt until the municipality acquired rights over property that served the public and taxes. For example, in the city of Bern, it wasnt until after the property division of 1852 that the municipality had the right to levy taxes
The Swiss Alps extend over both the Western Alps and the Eastern Alps, encompassing an area sometimes called Central Alps. The Swiss Alps comprise almost all the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Dufourspitze, the Dom, the Liskamm, the Weisshorn, the other following major summits can be found in this list of mountains of Switzerland. Since the Middle Ages, transit across the Alps played an important role in history, the region north of St Gotthard Pass became the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century. The Alps cover 65% of Switzerlands total 41,285 square kilometres surface area, making it one of the most alpine countries. The glaciers of the Swiss Alps cover an area of 1,220 square kilometres — 3% of the Swiss territory, the Swiss Alps are situated south of the Swiss Plateau and north of the national border. The limit between the Alps and the runs from Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva to Rorschach on the shores of Lake Constance, passing close to the cities of Thun.
The not well defined regions in Switzerland that lie on the margin of the Alps, the Swiss Prealps are mainly made of limestone and they generally do not exceed 2,500 metres. The Alpine cantons are Valais, Graubünden, Glarus, Ticino, St. Gallen, Obwalden, Schwyz, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Fribourg and Zug. The countries with which Switzerland shares mountain ranges of the Alps are, Italy, the Alps are usually divided into two main parts, the Western Alps and Eastern Alps, whose division is along the Rhine from Lake Constance to the Splügen Pass. The western ranges occupy the greatest part of Switzerland while the more numerous eastern ranges are smaller and are all situated in the canton of Graubünden. The latter are part of the Central Eastern Alps, except the Ortler Alps which belong to the Southern Limestone Alps, the Pennine and Bernina Range are the highest ranges of the country, they contain respectively 38,9 and 1 summit over 4000 metres. The lowest range is the Appenzell Alps culminating at 2,500 metres, Western Alps Eastern Alps The north side of the Swiss Alps is drained by the Rhône, Rhine and Inn while the south side is mainly drained by the Ticino.
The rivers on the empty into the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The major triple watersheds in the Alps are located within the country, they are, Piz Lunghin, Witenwasserenstock, between the Witenwasserenstock and Piz Lunghin runs the European Watershed separating the basin of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. The European watershed lies in fact only partially on the main chain, Switzerland possesses 6% of Europes fresh water, and is sometimes referred to as the water tower of Europe. Since the highest dams are located in Alpine regions, many mountain lakes are artificial and are used as hydroelectric reservoirs. Some large artificial lakes can be found above 2,300 m, the melting of low-altitude glaciers can generate new lakes, such as the 0.25 km² large Triftsee which formed between 2002–2003. The following table gives the area above 2000 m and 3000 m
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, more commonly known as Chamonix, is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, the communes population of around 8,900 ranks 1, 089th within the country of France. The north side of the summit of Mont Blanc, and therefore the summit itself are part of the village of Chamonix, to the south side, the situation is different depending on the country. Italy considers that the passes through the top. France considers that the runs along the rocky Tournette under the summit cap. The south side was in France, assigned to the commune of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains sharing the summit with its neighbor Chamonix and it is this situation for France, which is found on the French IGN maps. With an area of 245 km2, Chamonix is the fourth largest commune in mainland France, however, in 1786 the inhabitants bought their freedom from the canons of Sallanches, to whom the priory had been transferred in 1519.
In 1530, the inhabitants obtained from the Count of the Genevois the privilege of holding two fairs a year, while the valley was visited by the civil officials and by the bishops of Geneva. But travellers for pleasure were very rare, the first party to publish an account of their visit was that of Dr. Richard Pococke, Mr. William Windham and others, such as the Englishmen who visited the Mer de Glace in 1741. In 1742 came P. Martel and several other Genevese, in 1760 H. B. de Saussure, the commune successfully lobbied to change its name from Chamonix to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in 1916. The holding of the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix in 1924 further raised Chamonixs profile as an international tourist destination, during the Second World War, a Childrens Home operated in Chamonix, in which several dozens of Jewish children were hidden from the Nazis. Some of their saviors were recognised as Righteous Among the Nations, the commune of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc includes 16 villages and hamlets. Chamonix has a climate, between oceanic and humid continental climate, with an average annual precipitation of 1,275 mm.
Summers are mild and winters are cold and snowy, Population Change Sources, Ldh/EHESS/Cassini until 1962, INSEE database from 1968 · Population Over Time Chamonix is a winter sports resort town. As the highest European mountain west of Russia, Mont Blanc attracts mountain climbers, there is a cable car up to the 3,842 m Aiguille du Midi. Constructed in 1955, it was the highest cable car in the world, the town of Chamonix is served by French Route Nationale 205, nicknamed the Route blanche, or white route, due to its snowiness. This is an extension of French autoroute 40, similarly nicknamed the autoroute blanche, which ends at Le Fayet, the 11. 6-km Mont Blanc Tunnel originates here, linking Chamonix to Courmayeur in Italy. Chamonix is linked to Switzerland by what used to be RN 506a, in 2006, it was converted to a Route Départementale 1506, with a part of it integrated into RN205
The Haute Route, is the name given to a route undertaken on foot or by ski touring between Chamonix in France and Zermatt in Switzerland. Originally dubbed The High Level Route in English by members of the hiking club, since the French term has prevailed. While the term haute route has become genericized for any of the many multi-day, hut-to-hut alpine tours. Besides the original Haute Route, there is a Walkers Haute Route. The Walkers route stays below 3000 meters and takes advantage of the mountain huts and small inns. The original Haute Route has large portions of travel, for which suitable mountaineering gear. In the winter, ski touring gear is required, and depending upon the weather and route chosen, may require crampons, there is occasionally a danger of collapsing glaciers which can render the path virtually impassable. However, a lower level variation exists that avoids crossing glaciers, majority of hikers complete it in 12-16 days First successfully completed in 1911, The Haute Route ski tour is probably the most famous and coveted ski tour in the world.
Using high mountain huts to allow skiers to stay high and cover substantial distances and it requires good weather, favourable snow conditions and strong effort to complete this line. Because of this, roughly half of the skiers who begin the tour do not complete it, there are many variations of the HLR that work their way between Chamonix and Zermatt, including those listed below. It is possible to add ascents of a number of ski peaks to any of the routes, the winter Haute Route deviates from the summer route to avoid terrain that is dangerous or impassable when snow-covered. Many people ski the Haute Route in the direction, by variations that select better ascent. Lionel Claudepierre, a member of PGHM of Bourg Saint Maurice, the winter Haute Routes original line which involves long climbs and mountaineering with ice axe and crampons. Day 1, Argentiere village, over the Col du Chardonnet, day 2, Champex-Lac via the Val dArpette. Day 3, Long climb up to the Valsorey Hut on the shoulder of Grand Combin, day 4, Over the Plateau du Couloir and down the Glacier du Mont Durand to the Chanrion Hut.
Day 5, A long climb up the Otemma Glacier to the Vignettes Hut, day 6, A long day to Zermatt over the Col de lEvêque, Col du Mont Brulé and Col de Valpelline, a long descent under the shoulder of the Matterhorn and Dent dHerens. Day 7, Optional extension to Saas-Fee over the Adler Pass, the purest skiing line, and the most frequently done. Day 1, Argentière, over the Col du Chardonnet, day 2, Champex-Lac via the Val dArpette
Patrouille des Glaciers
The Patrouille des Glaciers is a ski mountaineering race organised every two years by the Swiss Armed Forces, in which military and civilian teams compete. It takes place every two years at the end of April, in the south part of the canton of Valais below the summits of the Pennine Alps. The Patrouille des Glaciers is a stage of La Grande Course that includes the most important ski mountaineering competitions of the season, there are two different races, a normal and a short one, Zermatt – Arolla – Verbier,53 kilometres, altitude difference +3994m and – 4090m. This is equivalent to 110 km without altitude difference, Arolla – Verbier,27 kilometres, altitude difference +1881m and – 2341m. This is equivalent to 53 km without altitude difference, the Patrouille des Glaciers has military origins. During the Second World War, the Swiss army organised a race to test the abilities of its soldiers, the first military patrol edition was held in April 1943 thanks to the work of two captains of Mountain Brigade 10.
That year,18 patrols, each consisting of three members, travelled 63 kilometres to reach Verbier, in 1944,44 teams participated, but for a few years, no races were organized because of World War II. On April 10,1949, the race was organised once again, as a result of that accident the organisation of the race was prohibited by the Federal Military Department until 1984. The competition was revived by Rene Martin and Camille Bournissen and it remains under the control of the army which ensures its smooth running. The race is now held two years and is open to civilians. In 1986, bad weather forced organizers to interrupt the race, in 2002, the same mishap occurred. In 2004, a team won the race for the first time. The same year, the race was competed by 2934 participants, with 984 for the normal race, in 2006, organisers were forced to refuse a thousand entries. That year a race was organized from Zermatt for the first time. The media have recently raised the problem of doping, patrols are not subject to any controls which causes rumours about the performance of the participants.
On April 18,2007, memorials donated by the Swiss army were unveiled in Zermatt, Arolla and in Verbier in honour of the communities connected with, benefactors of, and friends of, the PDG. A doping case came to light at the end of the 2008 edition in which ten competitors were checked. Record times are measured on the course only The record time is 5 hours 52 minutes 20.7 seconds and is held by a Swiss team winning the 2010 race
Zermatt is a municipality in the district of Visp in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It has a population of about 5,800 inhabitants, the town lies at the upper end of Mattertal at an elevation of 1,620 m, at the foot of Switzerlands highest peaks. It lies about 10 km from the over 10,800 ft high Theodul Pass bordering Italy, Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. The year round population is 5,759, though there may be several times as many tourists in Zermatt at any one time. Much of the economy is based on tourism, with about half of the jobs in town in hotels or restaurants. Just over one-third of the permanent population was born in the town, the name of Zermatt, as well as that of the Matterhorn itself, derives from the alpine meadows, or matten, in the valley. The name appeared first as Zur Matte and became Zermatt and it does not appear until 1495 on a map or 1546 in a text, but may have been employed long before. Praborno or Prato Borno are the names of Zermatt, they appear in the ancient maps as early as the thirteenth century.
The Romand-speaking people from the Aosta Valley and from the Romand-speaking part of canton Wallis used this name until about 1860 in the form of Praborne, the reason of this change from Praborno to Zermatt is attributed to the gradual replacement of the Romance-speaking people by German-speaking colony. The town of Zermatt lies at the end of the Matter Valley. Zermatt is almost completely surrounded by the mountains of the Pennine Alps among which Monte Rosa. It is followed by the Dom, Lyskamm and the Matterhorn, most of the Alpine four-thousanders are located around Zermatt or in the neighbouring valleys. The town of Zermatt, while dense, is geographically small, there are three main streets which run along the banks of the river Matter Vispa, and numerous cross-streets, especially around the station and the church which forms the centre of Zermatt. In general anything is at most a thirty-minute walk away, there are several suburbs within Zermatt. Winkelmatten, which was once a hamlet, lies on a hill on the southern side.
Steinmatten is located on the bank of the main river. Many hamlets are located in the valleys above Zermatt, however they are not usually inhabited all year round, zum See lies south of Zermatt on the west bank of the Gorner gorge, near Furi where a cable car station is located. On the side of Zmutt valley lies the hamlet of Zmutt, findeln is located in the eastern valley above the Findelbach river
The Pennine Alps, known as the Valais Alps, and formerly called Alpes Poeninae, are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps. They are located in Switzerland and Italy, the Italian side is drained by the rivers Dora Baltea and Toce, tributaries of the Po. The Swiss side is drained by the Rhône, the Great St Bernard Tunnel, under the Great St Bernard Pass, leads from Martigny, Switzerland to Aosta. The main chain runs from west to east on the border between Italy and Switzerland, from Mont Vélan, the first high summit east of St Bernard Pass, the chain rarely goes below 3000 metres and contains many four-thousanders such as Matterhorn or Monte Rosa. Unlike many other ranges, the higher peaks are often located outside the main chain