Thursday, May 6, 2010

SWITZERLAND - Swiss towns


Basel (German : Basel, French : Bâle) is Switzerland's third most populous city . Being located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany. Basel is Switzerland's second-largest urban area.
Located in northwest Switzerland on the river Rhine, Basel functions as a major industrial centre for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The Basel region, culturally extending into German Baden-Württemberg and French Alsace, reflects the heritage of its three states in the modern Latin name: "Regio TriRhena". It has the oldest university of the Swiss Confederation (1460). Basel is German-speaking. The local variant of the Swiss German
dialects is called Basel German.
Basel is among the most important cultural centres of Switzerland. The city comprises a large number of theatres and many museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the world's oldest art collection accessible to the public. In addition the Theater Basel was chosen in 1999 as the best stage for German-language performances.


The city of Bern or Berne is the Bundesstadt (federal city, de facto capital) of Switzerland, and the fourth most populous city in Switzerland. Bern is also the capital of the Canton of Bern, the second most populous of Switzerland's cantons.
The official language of Bern is German, but the main spoken language is the Alemannic
dialect called Bernese German ; most residents of the city speak both.


Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in Eastern Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. Zürich is a mixed hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.
Permanently settled for around 7,000 years, the history of Zürich goes back to its founding by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. During the Middle Ages Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, was the place of origin and center of the Reformation in German-speaking Switzerland, led by Ulrich Zwingli.
Zürich is a leading global city and amongst the world's largest financial centres. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking giants. Also, most of the research and development centers are concentrated in Zürich and the low rate of tax attracts overseas companies to set up their headquarters there. According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe.
In addition to being Switzerland's main commercial centre, Zürich is sometimes called the Cultural Capital of Switzerland. An impressive number of museums and art galleries can be found in the city, among which the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus. Zürich also hosts one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world.


Lucerne (German: Luzern) is the capital of the Canton of Lucernedistrict with the same name. Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland and a focal point of the region. The city's agglomeration consists of 17 municipalities in three cantons.
Due to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee), within sight of Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne is traditionally considered first and foremost as a tourist destination. One of the city's famous landmarks is Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden bridge first built in the 14th century.


St. Gallen (Sankt Gallen) is the capital of the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. It evolved from the hermitage of Saint Gall, founded in the 7th century. Today, it is a large urban agglomeration and represents the center of eastern Switzerland. The town mainly relies on services for its economic base. The main tourist attraction is the Abbey of St. Gall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its renowned library contains books which date to the 9th century. The city has good transport links to the rest of the country and to neighbouring Germany and Austria. It also functions as the gate to the Appenzell Alps.


Chur (German: Chur - French: Coire) is the capital of the Swiss canton of Graubünden and lies in the northern part of the canton.


Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Leman (French: Lac Léman). It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west. Lausanne is located 62 km northeast of Geneva.

The headquarters of the International Olympic Committee are located in Lausanne – the IOC officially recognises the city as the Capitale Olympique – as are the headquarters of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It lies in the middle of a wine region. The city has a 28-station metro system, making it the smallest city in the world to have a rapid transit system.


Geneva (French : Genève, German : Genf) is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandie (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). Situated where the Rhône River exits Lake Geneva (in French also known as Lac Léman), it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.
Geneva is a global city and a worldwide centre for diplomacy and the most important international co-operation centre with New York because of the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.

Geneva has been described as the third European financial centre after London and Zurich, and the world's sixth most important financial centre by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Chicago, Frankfurt and Sydney, and a 2009 survey by Mercer found Geneva to have the third-highest quality of life in the world (narrowly outranked by Zürich). The city has been referred to as the world's most compact metropolis and the "Peace Capital".


Postcard sent by Pam, as "pami1977"
Private swap - Reference CH004

Swiss Towns : Basel, Bern, Zürich, Luzern, St. Gallen
Chur, Lausanne, Genève

Danke / Merci

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