Ah, Switzerland! The exquisite little beauty surrounded by the gorgeous Alps. The place where reality looks more beautiful than dreams… Where romance engulfs everything and everyone… Where the winter never feels too harsh and summer never seems too hot… Where nature goes to take inspiration and man goes to get mesmerized… Such is the charisma of Switzerland. But amidst all of its beauty and grace, Switzerland does have a few quirky facts that we bet you had no clue about!
12 Random Facts About Switzerland We Bet You Did Not Know
1. There’s a fountain in Bern, Switzerland called Kindlifresserbrunnen that has a statue of a man eating babies! In fact, he has a bag full of little children that he intends on devouring! And although there are over 6 different theories as to why the statue exists, nobody knows for sure.
2. Switzerland is the first (and till date, the only) country to have developed an aeroplane that works on solar power. Known as Solar Impulse, it is the product of a privately financed project.
3. ‘Swiss cheese’ is not a cheese from Switzerland. It is manufactured in Canada or USA. Actual cheese manufactured and processed in Switzerland goes by names like Raclette, Sbrinz, Gruyère and Swiss Brie, depending on its hardness. It is never called ‘Swiss cheese’!
4. Switzerland has 4 official languages- Romansh, Italian, French and German.
5. Switzerland is also known as Confoederatio Helvetica. This name has been derived from the Helvetii tribe that used to inhabit the Swiss plateau back in the 1st century B.C. In fact, the Swiss franc coins have the term Confoederatio Helvetica written on them.
6. Henry Dunant, the founder of Red Cross, and a proud Swiss national, was the first person in the world to win a Noble Peace Prize.
7. The rich and the famous of the world have Swiss bank accounts (whether they accept this fact or deny it is beside the point!). No wonder then that bank tellers at the Swiss banks sit behind bulletproof glasses.
8. Switzerland is one of the biggest producers and exporters of chocolate. Some of the biggest chocolate brands in the world originated in this country. In the year 2012, Switzerland produced around 172,336 tons of chocolate! Also, did you know that on an average, a Swiss resident eats approximately 10 kgs of chocolate per year?
9. Switzerland is one of the only two countries in the world to have a square flag. Vatican City is the other country. All other countries (except Nepal, which has two triangles) have rectangle flags.
10. Although Swiss Army Knives were manufactured for the Swiss army, the name ‘Swiss Army Knife’ was given to the weapon/tool by American soldiers during World War II. This was because the American soldiers found the original name Offiziersmesser, hard to pronounce.
11. Several of the world’s top luxury watch brands originated in Switzerland. Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Chopard and TAG Heuer are just few of the many luxury brands that call Switzerland their birthplace.
12. There’s a dog tax that you have to pay to the government if you own a pet dog in Switzerland! This annual tax has to be paid for each dog you own, and this amount is generally calculated based on the city you stay in and the size of your dog.
How many of these fun facts about Switzerland did you know about? Do let us know by commenting below. Be honest, no cheating!