Switzerland: Did you know?                                         

Time                                     

In Switzerland, “Military Time” is used. The Swiss use 24 hours instead of two sets of 12 hours—like US Americans. One hour after 12 o’clock noon is 13:00. Two hours after noon is 14:00.

Dates                                    

The date is written day/month/year rather than month/day/year.

12 June 2017 (rather than June 12, 2017)

Commas & Decimals       

The date is written like this: 12.6.2017 (for June 12, 2017 or 6/12/17)

Decimals are written like this: $14,30 (for $14.30)

Helvetica Font                   

Did you know that the Helvetica font was invented in 1957 by a Swiss typeface designer named Max Miedinger?

This is an example of the Helvetica font.

Heidi

The novel Heidi by Johanna Spyri is one of the best-selling and most successful children's stories ever published. The clear distinction made in the book between the simple life in the mountains and the sophistication of the city reinforced the legend of a pristine alpine world. The orphan child sent by her impoverished aunt to her grandfather’s house in the mountains came to symbolize the unique nature of alpine life.

The Alps

The Alps have always been regarded by artists, engineers and scientists as more of an inspiration than an obstacle. They mark the spot where North meets South, stretch through seven countries, are home to eight languages, countless dialects and a thousand valleys. Every year, this natural and cultural wonder attracts more than 100 million visitors.

Matterhorn

Did you know that 48 mountains in Switzerland are over 4,000 meters (13,125 feet) above sea level? Although it is not the highest in Switzerland, the most famous mountain is the Matterhorn (photo) which reaches a height of 4,478 meters. On July 14, 1865, the first men to reach the summit of the Matterhorn were a group of seven mountaineers, led by Edward Whymper from Great Britain. Unfortunately, four of these seven men died on the return.

Bend it Like Beckham

Millions of filmgoers know the story of the Indian girl who defied her parents by playing soccer, but not many know that the film's inspiration lives in Switzerland. Permi Jhooti was the first professional Asian female soccer player in England and a Fifa ambassador. She went on to play for Concordia Basel. When she was not on the field, she worked at the university’s heart research department as an IT specialist.

Economy                             

Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force and a per capita GDP that is among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector led by financial services and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology and knowledge-based production.

Swiss Army Knife

Originating in Ibach, Switzerland, the Swiss army knife (photo) was first produced in 1891 after the company, Karl Elsener, which later became Victorinox, won the contract to produce the Swiss Army's Modell 1890 knife from the previous German manufacturer.

Neutral & Unaffiliated

In the 19th century, a democratic federal state was formed in the country, in contrast to the monarchical regimes governing most of Europe. In most of Europe the mid-century revolutionary movements failed. In comparison, Switzerland was an island of freedom, enjoying freedom of the press, freedom to submit petitions and freedom of association. As a non-member of the European Union, Switzerland is again an island of sorts. As a nation in the heart of Europe, Switzerland enjoys a close and friendly relationship with the EU and its member states—although remains neutral and unaffiliated.

Vatican Swiss Guard

Politically, its long-standing neutrality is highly respected by the major nations of the world. Switzerland played no part in World War I nor World War II. For this reason, Swiss soldiers guard the pope’s residence in Italy.