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
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Tamins is a village and a municipality in the Imboden Region in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. Tamins is first mentioned in 1224 as Tuminne. In 1225 it was mentioned in 1399 as Tumins. Tamins has an area, as of 2006, of 40.7 km2. Of this area, 16.5% is used for agricultural purposes, while 50.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.4% is settled and the remainder is non-productive. Before 2017, the municipality was located in the Trins sub-district, of the Imboden district, after 2017 it was part of the Imboden Region, it is a small settlement north of the confluence of the Vorderrhein. It consists of the village of Tamins and since 1803 the village of Reichenau at the confluence of Hinterrhein and Vorderrhein and the Castle of Reichenau. is located in the municipality. Tamins has a population of 1,213; as of 2008, 13.0% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has decreased at a rate of -5.5%. As of 2000, the gender distribution of the population was 49.3% male and 50.7% female.
The age distribution, as of 2000, in Tamins is. 85 people or 7.3% are 10 to 14, 67 people or 5.7% are 15 to 19. Of the adult population, 136 people or 11.7% of the population are between 20 and 29 years old. 179 people or 15.3% are 30 to 39, 217 people or 18.6% are 40 to 49, 166 people or 14.2% are 50 to 59. The senior population distribution is 105 people or 9.0% of the population are between 60 and 69 years old, 55 people or 4.7% are 70 to 79, there are 27 people or 2.3% who are 80 to 89, there is 1 person, 90 to 99. In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the SVP; the next three most popular parties were the SPS, the FDP and the CVP. In Tamins about 78% of the population have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education. Tamins has an unemployment rate of 0.95%. As of 2005, there were 57 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 10 businesses involved in this sector. 61 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 17 businesses in this sector.
93 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 33 businesses in this sector. From the 2000 census, 365 or 31.3% are Roman Catholic, while 633 or 54.2% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there are less than 5 individuals who belong to the Orthodox Church, there are 18 individuals who belong to another Christian church. There are 30 who are Islamic. There are 10 individuals who belong to another church, 84 belong to no church, are agnostic or atheist, 27 individuals did not answer the question; the historical population is given in the following table: Most of the population speaks German, with Romansh being second most common and Italian being third. Tamins has an average of 122.6 days of rain per year and on average receives 1,115 mm of precipitation. The wettest month is August. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 12.6 days. The driest month of the year is October with an average of 70 mm of precipitation over 12.6 days. Rhaetian Railway operate services to Reichenau-Tamins nearby.
Media related to Tamins at Wikimedia Commons Tamins in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
The Julier Pass is a mountain pass in Switzerland, in the Albula Range of the Alps. It connects the Engadin valley with the rest of Graubünden. At its summit, the pass crosses the watershed / drainage divide between the basins of the Rivers Rhine and Danube; the Julier Pass lies between Piz Julier. Remains of a Roman temple and cart tracks illustrate its importance in Roman times; the road constructed in the 1820s to replace the old Septimer Pass was well built and is still passable after moderate widening for normal cars and trucks. In some parts, areas were rebuilt in 2009 to reduce the number of serpentine turns. Winter use requires winter tires, as well as snow chains in poor weather. List of highest paved roads in Europe List of mountain passes List of the highest Swiss passes Profile on climbbybike.com Snow Chains
Reichenau Island is an island in Lake Constance in southern Germany. It lies due west of the city of Konstanz, between the Gnadensee and the Untersee, two parts of Lake Constance. With a total land surface of 4.3 km2 and a circumference of 11 km, the island is 4.5 km long and 1.5 km wide at its greatest extent. The highest point, the Hochwart, stands some 43 m above the lake surface and 438.7 m above mean sea level. Reichenau is connected to the mainland by a causeway, completed in 1838, intersected between the ruins of Schopflen Castle and the eastern end of Reichenau Island by a 10 m -wide and 95 m long waterway, the Bruckgraben. A low road bridge allows the passage of ordinary boats but not of sailing-boats; the island was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000 because of its monastery, the Abbey of Reichenau. The abbey's Münster is dedicated to the Saint Mark. Two further churches were built on the island consecrated to Saint George and to Saints Peter and Paul; the famous artworks of Reichenau include the Ottonian murals of miracles of Christ, unique survivals from the 10th century.
The abbey's bailiff was housed in a two-storey stone building to which two more storeys of timber framing were added in the 14th century, one of the oldest timber-frame buildings in south Germany. Among the Abbey's far-flung landholdings was Reichenau, a village on the upper Rhine in the municipality of Tamins in the canton of Graubünden, named for the Abbey. Today the island is famous for its vegetable farms; the Wollmatinger Ried next to the island is a large nature reserve, a wetland area of reeds, used by many birds as a stopover during their annual migration. The Alemannic name of the island was Sindleozesauua, but it was known as Ow, Auua – Latinized as Augia also Augia felix or Augia dives, hence Richenow, Reichenau; the Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau was founded in 724 by the itinerant Saint Pirmin, said to have fled Spain ahead of the Moorish invaders, with patronage that included Charles Martel, more locally, Count Berthold of the Ahalolfinger and the Alemannian Duke Santfrid I. Pirmin's conflict with Santfrid resulted in his leaving Reichenau in 727.
Under his successor Haito the monastery began to flourish. It gained influence in the Carolingian dynasty, under Abbot Waldo of Reichenau, by educating the clerks who staffed Imperial and ducal chanceries. Abbot Reginbert of Reichenau built up the important book collection. Abbot Walahfrid Strabo, educated at Reichenau, was renowned as a poet and Latin scholar; the Abbey stood along a main north–south highway between Germany and Italy, where the lake passage eased the arduous route. The Abbey of Reichenau housed a school, a scriptorium and artists' workshop, that has a claim to having been the largest and artistically most influential centre for producing lavishly illuminated manuscripts in Europe during the late 10th and early 11th centuries known as the Reichenau School. An example of the scriptorium's production is the Pericopes of Henry II, made for the Emperor, now in Munich. Reichenau has preserved its precious relics; the Abbey reached its apex under Abbot Berno of Reichenau. During his time, important scholars, such as Hermannus Contractus and worked in Reichenau.
In the second half of the 11th century, the cultural importance of the Abbey started to wane owing to the restrictive reforms of Pope Gregory VII, to rivalry with the nearby St. Gall; when the abbey lands were secularized and the monks disbanded under Napoleon, part of Reichenau's famed library was preserved in the state library at Karlsruhe. The Geographus Bavarus and several other important documents may be found in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. Since 2001 a small community of Benedictines has been re-established at Niederzell. Burchard III, Duke of Swabia and Herman I, Duke of Swabia were buried here, as was Gerold of Vinzgau. Charles the Fat List of Merovingian monasteries Merovingian architecture Merovingian art Imperial Crown believed by some scholars to have been made for Otto I in the workshops of Reichenau. Codex Augiensis Monastic Island of Reichenau UNESCO Official Website Reichenau: monastic island History and images Reichenau Abbey Church Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Reichenau".
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 3 spherical panoramas of St. Georg Church Saint George in Overzell in Circulo Romanico page Abacial de Santa Maria y San Marcos in Circulo Romanico page Iglesia de San Pedro y san Pablo in Circulo Romanico
The Vorderrhein is one of the two sources of the Rhine. Its catchment area of 1,512 square kilometres is located predominantly in the canton of Graubünden; the Vorderrhein is about 76 kilometres long, thus more than 5% longer than the Hinterrhein/Rein Posteriur. The Vorderrhein, has an average water flow of 53.8 m3/s, less than the flow of the Hinterrhein. According to the Atlas of Switzerland of the Swiss Federal Office of Topography, the source of the Vorderrhein– and the Rhine –is located north of the Rein da Tuma and Lake Toma. Vorderrhein was the name of a judicial district, created in 1851 with the reorganization of the judiciary of Graubünden. In 2001, it was annexed by the District Surselva; the largest communities along the Vorderrhein are Ilanz. The Vorderrhein flows in an east-northeast direction, through the Surselva, a large longitudinal valley, its north side is steep, with short valleys, the southern side, however, is divided by some long valleys. Its main tributaries, the Rein da Sumvitg, the Glenner and the Rabiusa all come from the south.
In its lower course the Vorderrhein flows through the Flims Rockslide, giving rise to the canyon country of the Ruinaulta. Near Reichenau, it joins the Hinterrhein to form the Rhine; some of the tributaries of the Vorderrhein are as long as the main branch. In downstream order, they are: Two unnamed streams originating in the Puozas and Milez areas near the Oberalppass Rein da Tuma, including the Lai da Tuma and the main head of the lake, about 71 kilometres The Aua da Val from the Val valley Rein da Maighels Rein da Curnera Rein da Nalps Rein da Medel, the upper reaches in the Canton of Ticino are known as Reno di Medel, as Froda So the longer arms are not the source at Oberalppass, but further southeast; the longest headwater front of the Vorderrhein, is the Reno di Medel, which rises on the border of the municipality Quinto in Ticino. In the uppermost part of its course, it runs in the Val Cadlimo, south of the geomorphological main Alpine ridge, west of the Lukmanier Pass; the culminating point of the Anterior Rhine's drainage basin is the Piz Russein of the Tödi massif of the Glarus Alps at 3,613 metres above sea level.
It starts with the creek Aua da Russein. Thanks to its attractive scenery and some interesting passage, the Vorderrhein is a popular river for paddling and rafting the section between Ilanz and Versam. Along entire length of the Vorderrhein there is a narrow-gauge railway line: from Chur to Disentis there is a line of the Rhätische Bahn. From Disentis, the Furka-Oberalp line of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn runs to the Oberalp Pass and on to Andermatt. In the Ruinaulta area, the main road runs to the North of the river, at its highest point, at Flims, it is about 480 metres above the Rhine; the Senda Sursilvana, a hiking trail along the young Rhine River lead from the Oberalp Pass along the Vorderrhein in the direction of Chur. Natural Monument Ruinaulta flow description for water rides
In geography, a confluence occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel. A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river. Confluences are studied in a variety of sciences. Hydrology studies the characteristic flow patterns of confluences and how they give rise to patterns of erosion and scour pools; the water flows and their consequences are studied with mathematical models. Confluences are relevant to the distribution of living organisms as well; the United States Geological Survey gives an example: "chemical changes occur when a stream contaminated with acid mine drainage combines with a stream with near-neutral pH water. According to Lynch, "the color of each river is determined by many things: type and amount of vegetation in the watershed, geological properties, dissolved chemicals and biologic content – algae." Lynch notes that color differences can persist for miles downstream before they blend completely.
Hydrodynamic behaviour of flow in a confluence can be divided into six distinct features which are called confluence flow zones. These include Stagnation zone Flow deflection zone Flow separation zone / recirculation zone Maximum velocity zone Flow recovery zone Shear layers Since rivers serve as political boundaries, confluences sometimes demarcate three abutting political entities, such as nations, states, or provinces, forming a tripoint. Various examples are found in the list below. A number of major cities, such as Chongqing, St. Louis, Khartoum, arose at confluences. Within a city, a confluence forms a visually prominent point, so that confluences are sometimes chosen as the site of prominent public buildings or monuments, as in Koblenz and Winnipeg. Cities often build parks at confluences, sometimes as projects of municipal improvement, as at Portland and Pittsburgh. In other cases, a confluence is an industrial site, as in Mannheim. A confluence lies in the shared floodplain of the two rivers and nothing is built on it, for example at Manaus, described below.
One other way that confluences may be employed by humans is as a sacred place in a religion. Rogers suggests that for the ancient peoples of the Iron Age in northwest Europe, watery locations were sacred sources and confluences. Pre-Christian Slavic peoples chose confluences as the sites for fortified triangular temples, where they practiced human sacrifice and other sacred rites. In Hinduism, the confluence of two sacred rivers is a pilgrimage site for ritual bathing. In Pittsburgh, a number of adherents to Mayanism consider their city's confluence to be sacred. At Lokoja, the Benue River flows into the Niger. At Kazungula in Zambia, the Chobe River flows into the Zambezi; the confluence defines the tripoint of Zambia and Namibia. The land border between Botswana and Zimbabwe to the east reaches the Zambezi at this confluence, so there is a second tripoint only 150 meters downstream from the first. See Kazungula and Quadripoint, Gallery below for image; the Sudanese capital of Khartoum is located at the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, the beginning of the Nile.
82 km north of Basra in Iraq at the town of Al-Qurnah is the confluence of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, forming the Shatt al-Arab. At Devprayag in India, the Ganges River originates at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda. Near Allahabad, the Yamuna flows into the Ganges. In Hinduism, this is a pilgrimage site for ritual bathing. In Hindu belief the site is held to be a triple confluence, the third river being the metaphysical Sarasvati. Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is where the Gombak River flows into the Klang River at the site of the Jamek Mosque; the Kolam Biru, a pool with elaborate fountains, has been installed at the apex of the confluence. The Nam Khan River flows into the Mekong at Luang Prabang in Laos; the Jialing flows into the Yangtze at Chongqing in China. The confluence forms a focal point in the city, marked by Chaotianmen Square, built in 1998. In the Far East, the Amur forms the international boundary between Russia; the Ussuri, which demarcates the border, flows into the Amur at a point midway between Fuyuan in China and Khabarovsk in Russia.
The apex of the confluence is located in a rural area, part of China, where a commemorative park, Dongji Square, has been built.