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
Bavaria the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Nuremberg; the history of Bavaria includes its earliest settlement by Iron Age Celtic tribes, followed by the conquests of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, when the territory was incorporated into the provinces of Raetia and Noricum. It became a stem duchy in the 6th century AD following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire, became an independent kingdom, joined the Prussian-led German Empire while retaining its title of kingdom, became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century AD, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria re-organised itself on democratic lines after the Second World War. Bavaria has a unique culture because of the state's Catholic majority and conservative traditions. Bavarians have traditionally been proud of their culture, which includes a language, architecture, festivals such as Oktoberfest and elements of Alpine symbolism; the state has the second largest economy among the German states by GDP figures, giving it a status as a rather wealthy German region. Modern Bavaria includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia; the Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps inhabited by Celts, part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German, unlike other Germanic groups, they did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by the Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century; these peoples may have included the Celtic Boii, some remaining Romans, Allemanni, Thuringians, Scirians, Heruli.
The name "Bavarian" means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources circa 520. A 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the diocese was named after an ancient Bohemian king, Boiia, in the 14th century BC. From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III, deposed by Charlemagne. Three early dukes are named in Frankish sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard princess Walderada when the church forbade her to King Chlothar I in 555, their daughter, became Queen of the Lombards in northern Italy and Garibald was forced to flee to her when he fell out with his Frankish overlords. Garibald's successor, Tassilo I, tried unsuccessfully to hold the eastern frontier against the expansion of Slavs and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II seems to have achieved a balance of power between 610 and 616.
After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onwards he invited churchmen from the west to organize churches and strengthen Christianity in his duchy, his son, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom in 714, married his sister Guntrud to the Lombard King Liutprand. At Theodo's death the duchy was reunited under his grandson Hugbert. At Hugbert's death the duchy passed from neighboring Alemannia. Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organization in partnership with St. Boniface, tried to intervene in Frankish succession disputes by fighting for the claims of the Carolingian Grifo, he was defeated near Augsburg in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early 8th century. Tassilo III succeeded his father at the age of eight after an unsuccessful attempt by Grifo to rule Bavaria.
He ruled under Frankish oversight but began to function independently from 763 onwards. He was noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonising these lands. After 781, his cousin Charlemagne began to pressure Tassilo to submit and deposed him in 788; the deposition was not legitimate. Dissenters attempted a coup against Charlemagne at Tassilo's old capital of Regensburg in 792, led by his own son Pépin the Hunchback; the king had to drag Tassilo out of imprisonment to formally renounce his rights and titles at the Assembly of Frankfurt in 794. This is the last appearance of Tassilo in the sources, he died a monk; as all of his family were forced into monasteries, this was the end of the Agilolfing dynasty. For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome in 976, Bavaria lost large territories in the south and
Austria the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2, a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion, it is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north and Slovakia to the east and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is mountainous, lying within the Alps; the majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, Slovene. Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century, it emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history.
As archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. Austria was involved in both world wars. Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. Austria is ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms; the country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995.
It is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol. Austria signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, adopted the euro currency in 1999; the German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996. This word is a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" - because it is steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976; the word "Austria" was first recorded in the 12th century. At the time, the Danube basin of Austria was the easternmost extent of Bavaria; the Central European land, now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province.
Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians and Avars. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, introduced Christianity; as part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976; the first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March. In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished; as a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia assumed control of the duchies of Austria and Carinthia. His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278. Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception; the Habsburgs began to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family. In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs. In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule. Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606.
The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times, of which some are c
Liechtenstein the Principality of Liechtenstein, is a doubly landlocked German-speaking microstate in Alpine Central Europe. The principality is a constitutional monarchy headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to Austria to the east and north, it is Europe's fourth-smallest country, with an area of just over 160 square kilometres and a population of 37,877. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is Vaduz, its largest municipality is Schaan, it is the smallest country to border two countries. Economically, Liechtenstein has one of the highest gross domestic products per person in the world when adjusted for purchasing power parity, it was once known as a billionaire tax haven, but is no longer on any blacklists of uncooperative tax haven countries. An Alpine country, Liechtenstein is mountainous, making it a winter sport destination; the country has a strong financial sector centered in Vaduz. 20,000 people commute to work in Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is a member of the United Nations, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, although not a member of the European Union, it participates in both the Schengen Area and the European Economic Area.
It has a customs union and a monetary union with Switzerland. The oldest traces of human existence in what is now Liechtenstein date back to the Middle Paleolithic era. Neolithic farming settlements were founded in the valleys around 5300 BCE; the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures flourished during the late Iron Age, from around 450 BCE—possibly under some influence of both the Greek and Etruscan civilisations. One of the most important tribal groups in the Alpine region were the Helvetii. In 58 BCE, at the Battle of Bibracte, Julius Caesar defeated the Alpine tribes, therefore bringing the region under close control of the Roman Republic. By 15 BCE, Tiberius—destined to be the second Roman emperor—with his brother, conquered the entirety of the Alpine area. Liechtenstein was integrated into the Roman province of Raetia; the area was maintained by the Roman military, who maintained large legionary camps at Brigantium, near Lake Constance, at Magia. A Roman road which ran through the territory was created and maintained by these groups.
In 259/60 Brigantium was destroyed by the Alemanni, a Germanic people who settled in the area in around 450 CE. In the Early Middle Ages, the Alemanni settled the eastern Swiss plateau by the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps by the end of the 8th century, with Liechtenstein located at the eastern edge of Alemannia. In the 6th century, the entire region became part of the Frankish Empire following Clovis I's victory over the Alemanni at Tolbiac in 504; the area that became Liechtenstein remained under Frankish hegemony, until the empire was divided by the Treaty of Verdun in 843 CE, following the death of Charlemagne. The territory of present-day Liechtenstein was under the possession of East Francia, it would be reunified with Middle Francia under the Holy Roman Empire, around 1000 CE. Until about 1100, the predominant language of the area was Romansch, but thereafter German began to gain ground in the territory. In 1300, an Alemannic population—the Walsers, who originated in Valais—entered the region and settled.
The mountain village of Triesenberg still preserves features of Walser dialect into the present century. By 1200, dominions across the Alpine plateau were controlled by the Houses of Savoy, Zähringer and Kyburg. Other regions were accorded the Imperial immediacy that granted the empire direct control over the mountain passes; when the Kyburg dynasty fell in 1264, the Habsburgs under King Rudolph I extended their territory to the eastern Alpine plateau that included the territory of Liechtenstein. This region was enfeoffed to the Counts of Hohenems until the sale to the Liechtenstein dynasty in 1699. In 1396 Vaduz gained imperial immediacy; the family, from which the principality takes its name came from Liechtenstein Castle in Lower Austria which they had possessed from at least 1140 until the 13th century. The Liechtensteins acquired land, predominantly in Moravia, Lower Austria and Styria; as these territories were all held in feudal tenure from more senior feudal lords various branches of the Habsburgs, the Liechtenstein dynasty was unable to meet a primary requirement to qualify for a seat in the Imperial diet, the Reichstag.
Though several Liechtenstein princes served several Habsburg rulers as close advisers, without any territory held directly from the Imperial throne, they held little power in the Holy Roman Empire. For this reason, the family sought to acquire lands that would be classed as unmittelbar or held without any intermediate feudal tenure, directly from the Holy Roman Emperor. During the early 17th century Karl I of Liechtenstein was made a Fürst by the Holy Roman Emperor Matthias after siding with him in a political battle. Hans-Adam I was allowed to purchase the minuscule Herrschaft of Schellenberg and county of Vaduz from the Hohenems. Tiny Schellenberg and Vaduz had the political status required: no feudal lord other than their comital sovereign and the suzerain Emperor. On 23 January 1719, after the lands had been purchased, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, decreed that Vaduz and Schellenberg were united and elevated the newly formed terri
South Tyrol is an autonomous province in northern Italy. It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, its official trilingual denomination is Autonome Provinz Bozen – Südtirol in German, Provincia autonoma di Bolzano – Alto Adige in Italian and Provinzia autonoma de Bulsan – Südtirol in Ladin, reflecting the three main language groups to which its population belongs. The province is the northernmost of Italy, the second largest, with an area of 7,400 square kilometres and has a total population of 530,009 inhabitants as of 2018, its capital and largest city is Bolzano. According to 2014 data based on the 2011 census, 62.3% of the population speaks German. The province is granted a considerable level of self-government, consisting of a large range of exclusive legislative and executive powers and a fiscal regime that allows it to retain a large part of most levied taxes, while remaining a net contributor to the national budget; as of 2016, South Tyrol is the wealthiest province in Italy and among the wealthiest in the European Union.
In the wider context of the European Union, the province is one of the three members of the Euroregion of Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino, which corresponds exactly to the historical region of Tyrol. The other members are Tyrol state in Austria, to the north and east, the Italian Autonomous province of Trento to the South. South Tyrol is the term most used in English for the province, its usage reflects that it was created from a portion of the southern part of the historic County of Tyrol, a former state of the Holy Roman Empire and crown land of the Austrian Empire of the Habsburgs. German and Ladin speakers refer to the area as Südtirol. Alto Adige, one of the Italian names for the province, is used in English; the term had been the name of political subdivisions along the Adige River in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, who created the Department of Alto Adige, part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. It was reused as the Italian name of the current province after its post-World War I creation, was a symbol of the subsequent forced Italianization of South Tyrol.
The official name of the province today in German is Autonome Provinz Bozen — Südtirol. German speakers refer to it not as a Provinz, but as a Land. Provincial institutions are referred to using the prefix Landes-, such as Landesregierung and Landeshauptmann; the official name in Italian is Provincia autonoma di Bolzano — Alto Adige, in Ladin Provinzia autonoma de Balsan/Bulsan — Südtirol. South Tyrol as an administrative entity originated during the First World War; the Allies promised the area to Italy in the Treaty of London of 1915 as an incentive to enter the war on their side. Until 1918 it was part of the Austro-Hungarian princely County of Tyrol, but this completely German-speaking territory was occupied by Italy at the end of the war in November 1918 and was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1919; the province as it exists today was created in 1926 after an administrative reorganization of the Kingdom of Italy, was incorporated together with the province of Trento into the newly created region of Venezia Tridentina.
With the rise of Italian Fascism, the new regime made efforts to bring forward the Italianization of South Tyrol. The German language was banished from public service, German teaching was forbidden, German newspapers were censored; the regime favored immigration from other Italian regions. The subsequent alliance between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini declared that South Tyrol would not follow the destiny of Austria, annexed to the Third Reich. Instead the dictators agreed that the German-speaking population be transferred to German-ruled territory or dispersed around Italy, but the outbreak of the Second World War prevented them from carrying out their intention; every single citizen had the free choice to stay in fascist Italy and to give up his German culture and identity or to move to Nazi Germany to continue living his culture with his identity, but to leave his homeland. The result was that in these difficult times of fascism, the individual South Tyrolean families were divided and separated.
In 1943, when the Italian government signed an armistice with the Allies, the region was occupied by Germany, which reorganised it as the Operation Zone of the Alpine Foothills and put it under the administration of Gauleiter Franz Hofer. The region was de facto annexed to the German Reich until the end of the war; this status ended along with the Nazi regime, Italian rule was restored in 1945. After the war the Allies decided that the province would remain a part of Italy, under the condition that the German-speaking population be granted a significant level of self-government. Italy and Austria negotiated an agreement in 1946. Alcide De Gasperi, Italy's prime minister, a native of Trentino, wanted to extend the autonomy to his fellow citizens; this led to the creation of the region called Trentino-Alto Adige/Tiroler Etschland. The Grub
Swabia is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany. The county of Swabia is located in southwest Bavaria, it was annexed by Bavaria in 1803, is part of the historic region of Swabia and was ruled by dukes of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. During the Nazi period, the area was separated from the rest of Bavaria to become the Gau Swabia, it was re-incorporated into Bavaria after the war. The Regierungsbezirk is subdivided into 3 regions: Allgäu, Donau-Iller. Donau-Iller includes two districts and one city of Baden-Württemberg. * Part of the Swabian Keuper Land Historical population of Swabia: 1939: 934,311 1950: 1,293,734 1961: 1,340,217 1970: 1,467,454 1987: 1,546,504 2002: 1,776,465 2005: 1,788,919 2006: 1,786,764 2008: 1,787,995 2010: 1,785,875 The Bavarian administrative region of Swabia is the eastern part of the duchy of Swabia. After the execution of the Swabian duke Conradin in Naples in 1268, his uncle, the Bavarian duke Louis inherited some of Conradin's possessions in Swabia.
In 1803, with the German Mediatisation, Bavaria acquired the further East Swabian territories, which were merged with Palatinate-Neuburg. After the founding of the Kingdom of Bavaria, the state was reorganised and, in 1808, divided into 15 administrative districts, in Bavaria called Kreise, they were created in the fashion of the French departements, quite in size and population, named after their main rivers. In the following years, due to territorial changes, the number of districts was reduced to 8; the Swabian territories were merged with Palatinate-Neuburg and the new district was called Oberdonaukreis. In 1837, king Ludwig I of Bavaria renamed all the districts after historical territorial names and tribes of the area; this involved some border changes or territorial swaps. Thus the name Oberdonaukreis changed to Swabia. In 1945, the town of Lindau was divested by France, but reunited with the district of Swabia in 1955. In 1972, the former Swabian city Neuburg an der Donau was reunited with the district of Upper Bavaria.
Next to the capital Augsburg and several other old cities including Donauwörth, Nördlingen, Mindelheim and Kempten, the Ottobeuren Abbey and the scenic attractions of the River Danube in the north and the Allgäu in the south with the Allgäu Alps and Oberstdorf and the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein next to Füssen belong to the major attractions. With the district of Lindau, Bavarian Swabia has access to Lake Constance. Swabian cuisine is rather simple. Noodle products are important. Brenntar Spätzle Maultaschen Bergkäse Schupfnudel Alb-Leisa Michael Bredl, a singer and collector of traditional Swabian Volksmusik Ludwig Aurbacher, famous for his stories about The Seven Swabians Ludwig Ganghofer and inventor Sebastian Kneipp, inventor of Kneipp-Kur known as Water-Doctor of Hydrotherapy Swabian Keuper-Lias Plains Official website