Réunion is an overseas department and region of France and an island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of Mauritius. As of January 2019, it had a population of 866,506; the island has been inhabited since the 16th century, when people from France and Madagascar settled there. Slavery was abolished on 20 December 1848, when the French Second Republic abolished slavery in the French colonies; however on indentured workers were brought to Réunion from South India, among other places. The island became an overseas department of France in 1946; as in France, the official language is French. In addition, the majority of the region's population speaks Réunion Creole. Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is one of the 18 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas region, an integral part of the republic with the same status as Metropolitan France. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, part of the Eurozone.
Not much is known of Réunion's history prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Arab traders were familiar with it by the name Dina Morgabin; the island is featured on a map from 1153 AD by Al Sharif el-Edrisi. The island might have been visited by Swahili or Austronesian sailors on their journey to the west from the Malay Archipelago to Madagascar; the first European discovery of the area was made around 1507 by Portuguese explorer Diogo Fernandes Pereira, but the specifics are unclear. The uninhabited island might have been first sighted by the expedition led by Dom Pedro Mascarenhas, who gave his name to the island group around Réunion, the Mascarenes. Réunion itself was dubbed Santa Apolónia after a favourite saint, which suggests that the date of the Portuguese discovery could have been 9 February, her saint day. Diogo Lopes de Sequeira is said to have landed on the islands of Réunion and Rodrigues in 1509. By the early 1600s, nominal Portuguese rule had left Santa Apolónia untouched.
The island was occupied by France and administered from Port Louis, Mauritius. Although the first French claims date from 1638, when François Cauche and Salomon Goubert visited in June 1638, the island was claimed by Jacques Pronis of France in 1642, when he deported a dozen French mutineers to the island from Madagascar; the convicts were returned to France several years and in 1649, the island was named Île Bourbon after the French royal House of Bourbon. Colonisation started in 1665. "Île de la Réunion" was the name given to the island in 1793 by a decree of the Convention Nationale with the fall of the House of Bourbon in France, the name commemorates the union of revolutionaries from Marseille with the National Guard in Paris, which took place on 10 August 1792. In 1801, the island was renamed "Île Bonaparte", after First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. During the Napoleonic Wars, the island was invaded by a Royal Navy squadron led by Commodore Josias Rowley in 1810, who used the old name of "Bourbon".
When it was restored to France by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the island retained the name of "Bourbon" until the fall of the restored Bourbons during the French Revolution of 1848, when the island was once again given the name "Île de la Réunion". From the 17th to 19th centuries, French colonisation, supplemented by importing Africans and Indians as workers, contributed to ethnic diversity in the population. From 1690, most of the non-Europeans were enslaved; the colony abolished slavery on 20 December 1848. Afterwards, many of the foreign workers came as indentured workers; the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the importance of the island as a stopover on the East Indies trade route. During the Second World War, Réunion was under the authority of the Vichy regime until 30 November 1942, when Free French forces took over the island with the destroyer Léopard. Réunion became a département d'outre-mer of France on 19 March 1946. INSEE assigned to Réunion the department code 974, the region code 04 when regional councils were created in 1982 in France, including in existing overseas departments which became overseas regions.
Over about two decades in the late 20th century, 1,630 children from Réunion were relocated to rural areas of metropolitan France to Creuse, ostensibly for education and work opportunities. That program was led by influential Gaullist politician Michel Debré, an MP for Réunion at the time. Many of these children were disadvantaged by the families with whom they were placed. Known as the Children of Creuse and their fate came to light in 2002 when one of them, Jean-Jacques Martial, filed suit against the French state for kidnapping and deportation of a minor. Other similar lawsuits were filed over the following years, but all were dismissed by French courts and by the European Court of Human Rights in 2011. In 2005 and 2006, Réunion was hit by a crippling epidemic of chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquitoes. According to the BBC News, 255,000 people on Réunion had contracted the disease as of 26 April 2006; the neighbouring islands of Mauritius and Madagascar suffered epidemics of this disease during the same year.
A few cases appeared in mainland France, carried by people travelling by airline. The French government of Dominique de Villepin sent an emergency aid package worth €36 million and deployed about 500 troops in an effort to eradicate mo
François D'Haene is a French elite athlete who specializes in ultra running and mountain running. He was born on 24 December 1985 in France, he won the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in 2012, 2014 and 2017, the Grand Raid on Réunion in the Indian Ocean in 2013, 2014 and 2016. He is the winner of the first Ultra-Trail World Tour, in 2014, he holds the speed record for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, 167 km in 20 h 11 min 44 sec, record that he improved in 2017. He's known for being the fastest on the GR20 in Corsica, crossing it in 31 h 06 min. On October 17, 2017, he set a new record on the John Muir Trail in California's Sierra Nevada, finishing it in 2 days, 19 hours, 26 minutes, he used to be a physiotherapist, became a wine-grower in 2012. He is married and has two children, lives in the Beaujolais winemaking region. Personal website
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Kílian Jornet Burgada
Kílian Jornet Burgada is a professional sky runner, trail runner, ski mountaineer and long-distance runner. He is a six-time champion of the long-distance running Skyrunner World Series and has won some of the most prestigious ultramarathons, including the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Grand Raid, the Western States Endurance Run and the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run. Jornet holds the fastest known time for the ascent and descent of Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Everest. In addition, he holds the 24-hour uphill skiing record: 23, 864-meters; this achievement was set on 8 February 2019. Jornet was born in Sabadell, Spain near Barcelona, he grew up in Refugi de Cap de Rec, a mountain hut at 2000 meters in the Pyrenees at the cross-country Lles ski resort in Lles de Cerdanya, where his father was a hut keeper and mountain guide. At the age of three he climbed a three-thousander in the Pyrenees. By the age of five he climbed Aneto 3,404 m, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees, a year he climbed his first four-thousander, the Breithorn on the Switzerland - Italy border.
He started ski mountaineering in 1999, competed for the first time at the La Molina race of the Spanish Cup in 2000. In 2003, he became a junior member of the Spanish national ski mountaineering team, has raced as a senior since 2007. Jornet studied at the University of Perpignan Via Domitia. Jornet has been recognised as an elite athlete since 2004 by the Catalan and Spanish sports councils. For his achievements in the "junior" class ski mountaineering team, he won the Catalan sports award in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2005 he set a course record of 2:30:57 for the race to the 4,015-metre summit of the Dôme de Neige des Écrins, he was World Champion in the Buff SkyRunner World Series in 2007, 2008 and 2009 becoming the youngest athlete to win this honour. His sister Naila Jornet Burgada and his girlfriend Emelie Forsberg from Sweden compete in ski mountaineering and skyrunning events. On 7 September 2013 Jornet and Forsberg had to be rescued by the "Peloton de Gendarmerie de haute montagne" at 3,800 meters of altitude while attempting to climb the north face of the Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc massif, wearing trail running shoes with crampons and a body stocking.
Since February 2016 Jornet and Forsberg are resident in Rauma municipality in Norway. Jornet and Forsberg had a child, born in March of 2019 "Summits of My Life" is Kilian Jornet's personal project, in which he is trying to set ascent and descent records for some of the most important mountains on the planet, culminated with the record attempt on Mount Everest; this project includes: Kilimanjaro 5,895 m. On 29 September 2010, Jornet ascended and descended Kilimanjaro in a record time of 7 hours, 14 minutes; this record was broken on 13 August 2014, when the Ecuadorian mountain guide Karl Egloff ran up and down in 6 hours and 42 minutes on 13 August 2014. Mont Blanc traverse, 4,810 m. In September 2012, Jornet completed the Innominata, a route linking Courmayeur and Chamonix, in 8 hours and 42 minutes. A previous attempt at ski crossing the Mont Blanc massif from Les Contamines to Champex in June 2012 resulted in the death of the French mountaineer Stéphane Brosse when a snow cornice collapsed under him.
Mont Blanc. In July 2013, Jornet achieved the fastest known time for the ascent and descent from Chamonix in 4 hours and 57 minutes. Matterhorn, 4,478 m. In August 2013, Jornet achieved the fastest known time for the ascent and descent from Breuil-Cervinia in 2 hours and 52 minutes, he improved the previous fastest known time set by Bruno Brunod in 1995 by more than 20 minutes. He started climbing up the 14,962 ft peak during mid-afternoon local time, reaching the summit in 1 hour 56 minutes via the Lion Ridge from the Italian side. Denali, 6,168 m. In June 2014 Jornet completed the fastest known time for the ascent and descent with a time of 11 hours and 48 minutes using both skis and crampons, breaking the previous record by 5 hours and 6 minutes. Aconcagua, 6,960 m. In December 2014 Jornet set a record for climbing and descending Aconcagua from Horcones and back, in 12 hours and 49 minutes. Jornet's record was broken in February 2015, again by Karl Egloff, who completed the route in 11 hours and 52 minutes.
Elbrus, 5,642 m. Jornet made an attempt in 2013 to set the fastest known time for the ascent and descent from Azau but was forced to turn back by bad weather; the fastest known time for the ascent is 3:23:37 set in 2010 by Andrzej Bargiel, while the record time for ascent and descent is 4:20:45, set on 7 May 2017 by Karl Egloff. Mount Everest, 8,848 m. Jornet summited Mount Everest at midnight on 22 May 2017. Climbing without fixed ropes or supplemental oxygen, he reached the top via a new route in 26 hours from base camp. On 27 May he reached the summit again from advanced base camp in 17 hours, about 15–20 minutes slower than the records from this camp set by Hans Kammerlander and Christian Stangl in 1996 and 2006, respectively. 2005: 1st, 2nd in the combined ranking at the "Cuita al Sol" race 1st, course record, Dôme de Neige des Écrins 2nd, "Cross Vertical", in Andorra 2nd, Prueba de Copa de España“ race, Buff-Salomon Vallnord 2006: 1st International Championship team race, SkyGames 1st, French Championships of Mountainrunning, "junior" class race, FFA 6th, World Championship of Skyrunning 2007: Champion of the year and four times 1st, Skyrunner W
An ultramarathon called ultra distance or ultra running, is any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres. There are two types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specified distance, events that take place during time; the most common distances are 50 kilometres, 100 kilometres, 50 miles, 100 miles, although many races have other distances. The 100 kilometers is recognized as an official world record event by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body of track and field. Other distances/times include double marathons, 24-hour races, multiday races of 1,000 miles or longer; the format of these events and the courses vary, ranging from single loops, to point-to-point road or trail races, to cross-country rogaines. Many ultramarathons trail challenges, have severe course obstacles, such as inclement weather, elevation change, or rugged terrain. Many of these races are run on dirt roads or mountain paths, though some are run on paved roads as well.
There are aid stations every 20 to 35 kilometres apart, where runners can replenish food and drink supplies or take a short break. Timed events range from 6, 12, 24 hours to 3, 6, 10 days. Timed events are run on a track or a short road course one mile or less. Considered to be a tougher event are self-supported ultramarathon stage races where each competitor has to carry all their supplies including food to survive the length of the race a week. A good example of this is the Grand to Grand Ultra, America's first self-supported ultramarathon stage race; the International Association of Ultrarunners organises the World Championships for various ultramarathon distances, including 50 kilometres, 100 kilometres, 24 hours, ultra trail running, which are recognized by the IAAF. Many countries around the world have their own ultrarunning organizations the national athletics federation of that country, or are sanctioned by such national athletics organizations. World records for distances and ages are tracked by the IAU.
Racewalking events are 50 km, although 100 km and 100 mile "Centurion" races are organized. Furthermore, the non-competitive International Marching League event Nijmegen Four Days March has a regulation distance of 4 × 50 km over three days for men aged 19–49. There are four IAU World Championships: the IAU 100 km World Championships, IAU 50 km World Championships, IAU 24 Hour World Championship, the IAU Trail World Championship. For reliable and updated information, see the IAU annual report of current world records on its newest "World's Best Performances" page in statistics. Yiannis Kouros, multi-day race legend, holder of numerous world records and world bests from 24 hours to 1,000 miles, course record holder of the Spartathlon since its inception in 1983 Takahiro Sunada, current men's 100 km Road world record holder Tomoe Abe, current women's 100 km Road world record holder Ryōichi Sekiya, four time IAU 24-hour run World Championship winner, Asia record holder of 24-hour run, two-time winner of Spartathlon Shingo Inoue, 2010 winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship Mami Kudo, current women's 24h Track world record holder, current women's 48h Road world record holder, 2013 female winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship Sumie Inagaki, current women's 24h Indoor world record holder, current women's 48h Track world record holder, two time female winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship, two time female winner of Spartathlon Norimi Sakurai, current women's 100 km Track world record holder, current women's 6H Track world record holder, 2007 female winner of IAU 24-hour run World Championship Suprabha Beckjord female and Wolfgang Schwerk male record holder 3100 mile Race Edit Berces, 24 hour treadmill world record holder.
Bruce Fordyce, nine time Comrades Marathon winner.
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree