United Swiss Societies
of Northern California, Inc.
United Swiss Societeis of Northern California
   
Text Size

Adventures

Regions

The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity.
Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public traffic.


Zurich Region

Zurich is top for leisure and pleasure. Gentle hills, peaceful woods, the unpolluted lakes and rivers, picturesque villages - and all just a stone's throw from the Alps. Zürich is the ideal starting point for all kinds of varied excursions.

Basel Region

The fascinating city. Encounter the best of modern art and architecture at every step. Savour cherries fresh from nearby orchards and asparagus from the Alsace. West of Switzerland

Valais

Finding, enjoying, understanding. Balmly summer warmth bathes the valley. Water gurgles from pond to pond in pine forests and vineyards.

Fribourg / Neuchâtel / Jura / Jura Bernois

From the Jura range to the pre-Alpine hills. Vast elevated plains punctuated with fir trees in lush pastures, farm buildings of light-coloured Jura limestone. - the Jura region is a giant park created by Nature herself, bordering France to the north and crossed by deep canyons to the south.

Lake Geneva Region

One region, four worlds. They came, saw... and stayed. Courbet, Kokoschka, Charlie Chaplin and David Bowie are among those who settled at Lake Geneva, attracted, no doubt, by the Alpine panorama and almost Mediterranean vegetation.

Geneva Region

The world's smallest metropolis. Cosmopolitan Geneva - a world of its own, a world for everyone, quite apart from the rest of Switzerland.

Eastern Switzerland/ Liechtenstein

Eastern Switzerland stretches from the shimmering waters of Lake Constance across the hilly Appenzellerland to the Alpine landscapes of Toggenburg, the Heidiland holiday region and the Glarnerland. Far off in the Rhine Valley is Vaduz with its princes' castle.

Graubünden

Alpine valleys descending from high mountains. Rivers in every conceivable direction. German, Romansh and Italian in a single canton.

Central Switzerland

Unlimited freedom. Switzerland was born when the good people of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden formed an alliance at the Rütli. Here, in Central Switzerland, is the Schöllenen Bridge which made north-south travel across the Gotthard range possible, and here, in 1871, Europe?s first cog railroad up to Rigi marked the beginning of tourism as we know it.

Schweizer Mittelland

Simply grand. A slight haze tints quiet rivers with subtle pastel hues. Impressively vast roofs shelter prosperous Emmental farmhouses..

Bernese Oberland

Where nature and holidays come together. Waterfalls crash down sheer cliff sides. Glacier-fed creeks force their way through th narrow Rosenlaui and Aare canyons.

Ticino

The Italian flair of Switzerland. The Mediterranean region seems to begin on the southern side of the Alps. There is a feel of Italy, with palm trees at clean beaches and lanes and alleyways leading to piazzas and churches.

More about Switzerland's regions and destinations
 
 
 

At A Glance

The diversity of the landlocked, mountainous country is the essence of Switzerland and gives the country its unique identity. Still, it is best known for its financial institutions, fine cheeses and chocolate, watch making industry, for its scenery and an excellent network of public transportation.
Capital City: Berne  
Major Cities: Baden, Basel, Bellinzona, Bern, Biel, Brig, Chur, Fribourg, Genève, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Lausanne, Locarno, Lugano, Luzern, Martigny, Montreux-Vevey, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Sierre, Sion, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Zug, Zürich
Bordering Countries: Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Liechtenstein
Inhabitants: about 7.7 Millions
Flag: flag
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch
Climate: Because of its central position, the weather is influenced by the four main European air currents - from the Atlantic, the eastern continent, the northern subpolar region and the Mediterranen south. The climate is temperate on the Central Plateau, otherwise it differs considerably from region to region.
Landforms: Alps and Pre-Alps cover 60%, Central Plateau 30% and Jura 10% of the country.
Land Area: 41,284 km2


Switzerland Stats

Area:
41,293 sq km / 15,936 sq mi

Distance: North to South 220 km / 137 mi.
East to West 348 km / 216 mi.

Length of frontier:
1,881 km 1,168 mi.
Switzerland borders France in the West, Germany in the north, Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein in the east and Italy in the south.

Landscape:
3 main types of landscape - the Swiss Alps, the hilly Swiss Mittelland, which extends from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva, and the Swiss Jura, a long line of rugged fold mountains.

Highest Peaks:
Dufourspitze (Valais): 4,634 m / 15,203 ft
Dom (Valais): 4,545 m / 14,911 ft
Weisshorn (Valais): 4,506 m / 14,793 ft
Matterhorn (Valais): 4,478 m / 14,691 ft

Largest Glacier (Surface):
Aletsch (Valais): 117 sq km / 73 sq ml.
Length 24 km / 15 mi.
Glaciers in total 140

Largest Lakes:
Lake Geneva: 582 sq km / 223 sq mi.
Lake Constance: 539 sq km / 208 sq mi.
Lake Neuchâtel: 218 sq km / 83 sq mi.
Lake Maggiore: 212 sq km / 82 sq mi.
Lake Lucerne: 114 sq km / 44 sq mi.
Lake Zurich: 88 sq km / 35 sq mi.
Lakes in total 1,484

Highest Village:
Juf (Graubunden): 2,126 m / 7,000 ft

Lowest Village:
Ascona (Ticino): 196 m / 690 ft

Largest Cities:
Zurich  366,445
Geneva  177,500
Basel  165,000
Bern  131,600
Lausanne  129,273
Capital:
Berne

Population:
8 million

Population density:
188 per sq. km

Government:
Parliamentary Federal State since 1848, Direct democracy

Cantons:
20 full cantons, 6 half cantons

Kanton Aargau Aargau Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden Appenzell Ausserrhoden Kanton Appenzell Innerrhoden Appenzell Innerrhoden
Kanton Basel-Landschaft Basel-Landschaft Kanton Basel-Stadt Basel-Stadt Kanton Bern Bern
Canton De Fribourg Fribourg Canton De Geneva Geneva Kanton Glarus Glarus
Kanton Graubünden Graubünden Canton De Jura Jura Kanton Lucerne Lucerne
Canton De Neuchâtel Neuchâtel Kanton Nidwalden Nidwalden Kanton Obwalden Obwalden
Kanton Schaffhausen Schaffhausen Kanton Schwyz Schwyz Kanton Solothurn Solothurn
Kanton St.Gallen St.Gallen Kanton Thurgau Thurgau Cantone Ticino Ticino
Kanton Uri Uri Canton Valais Valais Canton Vaud Vaud
Kanton Zug Zug Kanton Zürich Zürich

Languages:
(Swiss) German (64%), French (20%), Italian (7%), Romansch (1%), others (8%)

Religions: Catholic (42%), Protestant (35%), others (23%)
 
Travel Resources / myswitzerland.com Interests
Travel Digest / swissinfo.ch
SWI swissinfo.ch - swiss news and information platform about Switzerland, business, culture, sport, weather. swissinfo covers Switzerland from every angle in English with news and up-to-date information for a worldwide audience.
Culture - SWI swissinfo.ch
  • The Swiss inspiration for Star Wars
    On May 25, 1977 the first Star Wars film was released, and Switzerland has its own claim to fame when it comes to the famous space franchise. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, began the films’ connection to Switzerland. The Swiss Alps in Grindelwald, in the Bernese Oberland, provided inspiration for mountain scenery on Alderaan, Princess Leia's home planet, that is seen in Episode III. The mountains were scouted as a suitable backdrop, and plate photography of the peaks was combined with other images to create the scenery. Grindelwald is a village and popular ski resort at the foot of the Eiger north face, surrounded by an impressive mountain landscape.  Swiss technology The Star Wars connection goes even further than Swiss mountain scenery however. The Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, (ETHZ), has a partnership with Disney, where researchers find hi-tech solutions to bring aspects of the Star Wars films to life. It was a group of ...
  • Roger Moore: at home in Switzerland
    Roger Moore, who passed away this week in Switzerland, had a close relationship with the country. Like his James Bond character, Moore enjoyed skiing, as well as Nordic walking and the gastronomy on offer in the Swiss Alps. (SRF, swissinfo.ch) But as he told Swiss public television (TSR) in a 2007 interview, it was his children who first pressured him to move here in 1978, after they had learned to ski. “Being a weak father,” he said, and having been “waiting for an excuse to leave England” – he agreed. The family first moved to Gstaad, where they lived for some years before relocating to Crans-Montana. Moore, who could speak French, was a fan of mountain life, and showed his skiing abilities on screen in the 1985 Bond movie A View to a Kill, also shot on location in Switzerland. Moore’s only gripe with the country? That despite his appearance in an advertisement for Swiss Federal Railways, he still wasn’t given a half-price discount for traveling on Swiss trains. 
  • Welcome to Biel, ephemeral capital of Swiss photography
    The city of Biel, known for being a center of the global watch industry, also is a cultural crossroads of national importance. For nearly a month every year, the largest bilingual city in the country welcomes a festival dedicated entirely to photography. The Biel Festival of Photography, which runs from May 5th to 28th, is an opportunity to discover the heritage of this often unknown Swiss city – while also enjoying a bit of physical exercise. The 28 exhibitions presented at the 21st edition of the festival, three-quarters of which are exclusively Swiss or worldwide, are distributed in eight separate venues.  Among them are three unusual locations: the Farel House, a witness to the architecture of the late 1950s; a former abandoned industrial building; and the Working Station, a private gallery space. This years's festival focuses on the notion of what is extreme. The themes dealt with are multiple: the flow of images, the omnipresence of technology, and the excesses of a global ...
  • Swiss mobile providers perform well
    Speed, availability, network responsiveness: on all counts, the mobile experience in Switzerland is “an excellent one”, according to a new report. But improvements could still be made to advance on the leader board. This is the verdict published Wednesday May 24 by OpenSignal, a London-based private held company that issues industry reports based on crowdsourced data from worldwide users of its OpenSignal app. The company says it aims to use data to increase transparency in the wireless industry, and to offer unbiased coverage maps. According to the report, the company’s first to directly address Switzerland, the country’s users have a lot to be satisfied with: “fast speeds, highly accessible LTE [wireless] signals and quick network response times” are the norm, the findings show. “Our users were able to find LTE signals on Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom's networks in seven of every 10 attempts, and when they did connect they had access to average speeds well over 20 ...
  • Roger Moore has died in Switzerland
    British actor Roger Moore, who played the role of James Bond in seven of the spy adventures, has died in Switzerland at the age of 89. He passed away after a short battle with cancer. His family announced the news on Tuesday: “it is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of our loving father, Sir Roger Moore”, they said. Moore, who played the role of Ian Fleming’s secret agent 007 between 1973 and 1985, had owned a chalet for years in the chic resort of Gstaad. Since 1996, he had lived part of the time in the mountain resort of Crans-Montana in canton Valais. He also owned property in the South of France, and in Monaco, where he was close to Prince Albert.  In 2007, he told Swiss public television, TSR, that he had moved to Switzerland after pressure from his children, who had learned to ski one winter in Gstaad. Beautiful Switzerland "As I am a very weak father, I said yes. In fact, I was waiting for an excuse to leave England and set up in a beautiful place like ...
 
English French German Italian
Consulate General of Switzerland
Pier 17, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States of America
sfr.vertretung@eda.admin.ch

Tel.: +1 415 788 2272
Fax: +1 415 788 1402



 

Swiss Benevolent Society
of San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States of America
assistance@sbssf.com

Tax ID
#94-6052328


The United Swiss Societies of Northern California (USSNC), founded in 1912, merged with the Swiss House Association of California, which had incorporated on July 21, 1930, the merger created the new name, United Swiss House of Northern California, Inc., which on February 11, 1983 incorporated to its current name. United Swiss Societies of Northern California, Inc., organized as a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation, 501(c)(4), tax ID 23-7126939