Switzerland: population and cities
Countryaah website, Switzerland has around 8.6 million residents - slightly less than 24% of them
Mainly Swiss live here, along with around 299,000 Italians, 291,000 Germans,
250,000 Portuguese, 69,000 French and 74,000 Spaniards.
41.8% of the Swiss are followers of the Roman Catholic Church, 35.3%
are Protestants, 4.3% Muslims, 1.8% Orthodox Christians, 0.2% Jews and 11.1% are
non-denominational or followers of other religious communities.
Switzerland has the following official national languages:
- German is spoken by around 64% of the population.
- French is spoken by approximately 19% of the population.
- Italian is spoken by approximately 7.6% of the population.
- Romansh is spoken by around 40,000 people (0.6%). A total of five
dialects can be distinguished.
Capital and cities
The capital and seat of government of Switzerland is Bern, with a population
of around 130,000. Officially, however, one does not speak of the capital, but
of the federal city.
Other cities are:
- Zurich with around 415,500 residents
- Geneva with around 202,000 residents
- Basel with around 172,000 residents
- Lausanne with around 116,000 residents
- Sankt Gallen with around 76,000 residents
- Lucerne with around 81,500 residents
Switzerland: geography, map
Defined by DigoPaul, Switzerland covers an area of 41,285 km². Thereof:
Around 60% of the country is taken up by the Alps and around 10% by the
Around 25% of the country is forested.
- Meadow and pasture land
Around 46% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
- Arable land and fields
Around 6% of the land is used as arable land or fields.
Switzerland has a common border with a total of five countries:
- Austria including Lake Constance of around 180 km
- France of around 585 km
- Italy including the Campione d´talia enclave of around 800 km
- Principality of Liechtenstein of around 41 km
- Germany including Lake Constance and the Büsingen enclave of around 361
Longitude and latitude
Switzerland extends (rounded) over the following geographical latitude
(abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):
|Δφ = from around 46 ° to 48 ° north latitude
Δλ = from around 6 ° to 11 ° east longitude
You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and
Central European Time (CET) applies in Switzerland.
Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones,
The highest point of the sun in Bern
Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is located at a north latitude of around φ
= 47 °.
If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer begins in Bern, this is
Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see
position of the sun):
47 ° = (90 ° - h) + 23.5 °
At 66.5 ° above the horizon, the sun reached its highest level of the whole
year on June 21 at midday in Bern.
Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger
Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger, the three mountains lie next to each other,
whereby the Mönch (4,107 m) lies between the Eiger (3,970 m) with the famous
Eiger north face and the Jungrau (4,158 m).
In 2001, Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch, along with the neighboring areas - such as
the Aletsch Glacier - were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage
Sites as the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn.
The north face of the Eiger was climbed for the first time in 1938 by the rope
team with the two Germans Anderl Heckmair and Heinrich Harrer as well as the
Austrians Ludwig Vörg and Fritz Kasparek. The great mountaineers like the French
Gaston Rébuffat, the Austrians Hermann Buhl and Kurt Diemberger and the South
Tyrolean Reinhold Messner later also climbed the wall.
The highest mountain in the country is the Dufourspitze in the Monte
Rosa massif in Valais near Zermatt with a height of 4,634 m. Although the top is
in Switzerland, parts of the mountain are also in Italian territory. Therefore
it is not considered by many as "the" highest mountain in Switzerland.
The cathedral - with a height of 4,545 m - is located entirely on the
territory of Switzerland. It is therefore often regarded as the true highest
mountain in Switzerland. It is located in the Valais Alps and belongs to the
Mischabel group, the second highest mountain massif in Switzerland after the
Monte Rosa massif. The mountain was climbed for the first time on September 11,
1858 by J. Llewellyn Davies, Johann Zumtaugwald, Johann Kronig and Hieronymous
The Weißhorn has a height of 4,506 m. The mountain
lies in the Valais Alps. The first ascent was made on August 19, 1861 by Johann
Joseph Brennen, the British John Tyndall and Ulrich Wenger.
The Matterhorn with a height of 4,478 m is not the highest but without a doubt
the most famous mountain in Switzerland. It lies between Zermatt in Switzerland
and Breuil-Cervinia in Italy. It was first established on July 14, 1865 under
the direction of the British mountaineer Edward Whymper and Michel-Auguste Croz
from Chamonix, the British Francis Douglas, the British Douglas R. Hadow, the
British clergyman Charles and by Peter Taugwalder and his son Peter Climbed the
Taugwalder from Zermatt. Four of the rope team died on the descent - only
Whymper and his father and son Taugwalder returned to Zermatt unharmed.
The Dent Blanche with a height of 4,357 m. The mountain lies in the
Valais Alps entirely on the territory of Switzerland. The first ascent was made
on July 18, 1862 by mountaineers Jean-Baptiste Croz, Thomas Stuart Kennedy,
Johann Kronig and William Wigram
According to some authors, the Rhine rises in Tomasse in the Swiss canton of
Graubünden. But there are some source rivers further away from the mouth that
other authors consider to be sources of the Rhine, such as the source of the
"Rein da Medel" in the canton of Ticino in the catchment area of the
Hinterrhein. Depending on the source, the Rhine has a length of 1,320 km (from
Tomasee) or 1,391 km. The Tomasee lies at an altitude of 2,345 m in the
catchment area of the Vorderrhein. The Vorderrhein rises in the approx. 3,000
m high area of the Gotthard tunnel and flows through the famous Flims
Gorge. The Hinterrhein lies further east and is coming
At Tamins, a municipality 10 km west of Chur in the canton of Graubünden, the
Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein flow together to form the "Alpine Rhine". This
Alpine Rhine is around 100 km long and - as mentioned - forms the border between
Liechtenstein and Switzerland and, further north, part of the border between
Switzerland and Austria.
West of Bregenz, the Alpine Rhine flows into the Upper Lake - part of Lake
Constance - then through the Rhine Lake and at the end of the Lower Lake it
leaves Lake Constance at Stein am Rhein. At Schaffhausen in Switzerland, it
plunges down as a waterfall over a height difference of m. The Rhine Falls of
Schaffhausen - the most spectacular part of the "Scheizer Rhine" - is impassable
for all types of ships and fish (except eels). With a height of 23 m and a width
of 150 m, it is the largest waterfall in Europe after Dettifoss on Iceland.
At Hoek van Holland the "Rhine" then flows into the North Sea.
The entire Rhine from the source to the mouth is divided into the following
Area of the source rivers
described in the text above The Alpine Rhine extends
from the confluence of the front and rear Rhine to Lake Constance (Oberer See)
Obersee, Seerhein and Untersee (together Lake
From the Obersee the Rhine flows through the Seerhein and the Untere
See, which ends at Stein am Rhein.
The Upper Rhine begins in Stein am Rhein, at the end of Lake Constance,
and extends to Basel
The Upper Rhine begins in Basel and extends to the Binger Loch
The Middle Rhine begins at the Binger Loch and extends to Bonn.
At Sankt Goarshausen in Rhineland-Palatinate, it passes the Loreley, an
approximately 125 m high slate rock on the right bank of the Rhine, which was
immortalized by Heinrich Heine's poem.
The Lower Rhine begins in Bonn and extends to the Rhine-Maas delta
The Rhine-Maas delta consists of a branched river delta that is formed
before the confluence of the Rhine and Maas into the North Sea. The Meuse rises
in France, flows through Belgium and flows into the North Sea after approx. 925
km in this delta.
Cities on the Rhine:
Tributaries of the Rhine (alphabetically), the river lengths are
rounded up or down:
|Name of the river
||Estuary in section of the Rhine
||Length of the river in km
||Obersee (Lake Constance)
||Obersee (Lake Constance)
With a length of around 295 km, the Aare is the longest river that
flows entirely in Switzerland. It is a tributary of the Rhine, into which it
flows near Koblenz in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. Their source is in
the Aar glaciers in the Grimsel area. The two Swiss cities of Bern and Thun are
located on the Aare.
The Rhone with a total length of around 812 km has its source in the canton of
Valais on the Rhone Glacier in Switzerland. It flows into a wide river delta
near the city of Arles in France in the Mediterranean Sea. The following larger
cities in Switzerland are located on the river: Brig, Sion (Sitten), Geneva and
the following French cities: Lyon as well as Arles and
The Reuss is a river that only flows in Switzerland and with a length of around
165 km it is the fourth longest river in Switzerland. It rises on the Gotthard
Pass and Furka Pass as Gotthardreuss and Furkareuss, which unite in the
Urserental. At Flüelen the Reuss flows into Lake Lucerne, which it leaves again
at Lucerne. It then flows into the Aare below Windisch.
Linth - Limmat
Linth - Limmat with a length of around 140 km. The Linth rises in the Swiss
canton of Glarus and flows into Lake Zurich after a distance of around 105
km. The Limmat River then leaves the lake and flows into the Aare after around
35 km near Brugg in the canton of Aargau.
The Thur with a length of 134 km is a river that only flows in Switzerland. The
river is created by the confluence of the Säntisthur and the Wildhauser Thur at
Unterwasser. Its confluence with the Rhine lies near the small community of
Flaach and the village of Ellikon in the community of Marthalen.
The Saane is a purely Swiss river with a length of 128.5 km. It rises above
Gsteig on the Sanetschhorn below the Col du Sénin as La Sarine. In its course it
flows into the Gruyère lake and from there further north to Freiburg and then
through the "Schiffenensee" reservoir. It flows into the Aare to the west of
Bern. At Schiffenensee, the river is spanned by the 335 m long and 82 m high
Grandfey Viaduct on the railway line from Bern to Freiburg.
The Inn with a length of 104 km within Switzerland and a total length of 517 km
rises at the Malojapass in the Swiss Engadin at an altitude of 2,484 m. In
addition to Switzerland, the river also flows through Austria and Germany, where
it flows into the Danube near Passau. The following Austrian cities are on the
river: Braunau, Hall in Tirol, Imst, Innsbruck, Kufstein, Landeck, Schärding,
Wörgl and the following German cities: Altötting, Mühldorf, Passau Töging,
Rosenheim and Wasserburg,
Lake Geneva (Lac Léman)
The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes. The largest lake is Lake
Geneva with a total area of around 582 km², of which 348 km² belongs to
Switzerland and 234 km² to France. On the Swiss side are Geneva on the southern
tip and Lausanne on the north bank, Montreux on the east bank and Vevey on the
north-east bank of the lake and approx. 15 km from Lausanne. On the French side
are Thonon-les-Bains and Évian.
Other larger lakes are:
Lake Constance Lake
Constance covers an area of around 536 km², with Obersee 473 km² and
Untersee 63 km². The Lake Rhine, between Kreuzlingen and Konstanz, and the
Untersee are divided by a border between Switzerland and Germany. The Überlinger
See is part of Germany. The rest of the lake with a depth of more than 25 m is
jointly managed as a so-called condomium by Austria, Germany and
Switzerland. All three states have sovereign rights in this sea area.
Other large lakes in Switzerland are:
- Lake Neuchâtel with an area of around 218 km²
- Langensee with an area of around 212 km²
- Vierwaldstättersee with an area of 114 km ²
- Lake Zurich with an area of around
- Lake Lugano with an area of around
- Lake Thun with an area of around 48 km²
- Lake Biel with an area of around 40 km²
The region of Lake Lucerne was hit by a severe earthquake in 1601, which
resulted in a kind of tsunami with a tidal wave about 4 m high.
Juf in Graubünden is something special. Juf is a district of Aves in the
Avestal and has around 30 residents. The place is at an altitude of up to
2,126 m and is therefore the highest continuously inhabited place in the Alpine
region. There is a hostel and two chair lifts in the village.