little known facts about switzerland

remarks by ernie in black.

x = wrong.

(blank) = most probably true / cannot verify / no comment / don’t know.

? = i doubt.

o = true.


1. Latin is the third most spoken language.


latin is not spoken at all, but appear on the stamps and coins as "confoederatio helvetica" or "helvetia", the latin name of switzerland. the languages are, acc. to speakers: german, french, italian, romansh (the latter three, however, belong to the romance language family which evolved from latin).

2. Protestants are the second biggest demonation.

o after the catholics.

3. Women are expected to live 6 years longer than men.

o but are not forced to ... ;-)


1: In 1471 a chicken in Basel, Switzerland, was found guilty of laying a brightly colored egg "in defiance of natural law". It was burned at the stake as "a devil in disguise".

o sounds funny! as many have entered this, i believe it is true. never heard that one before. but hey, medieval was kind of mid-evil.

2: In Switzerland, there was once against the law to slam your car door.

o this one came in very often. i don’t know if this was a nation-wide or just local law.

3: In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis.

i really don’ know. at least this one is funny and was sent in many times. maybe once this caused an accidents or so ... however, i did not found a swiss source about this "fact". it could easily be that this one is somehow mixed with the law that once it was forbidden mowing and other loud garden activities on sundays.



I’m off to Montreaux in March – so I hope to get Switzerland on my Geocaching finds list.

1) Switzerland “invaded” neighbouring Liechtenstein last year when a Swiss Army unit got lost during excercises and ended up in the middle of this small neighbouring kingdom.


2) Freddy Mercury and Queen really loved Switzerland and ended up buying a recording studio outside Montreux on Lake Geneva. There is a statue to Freddy on the shore (featured on the cover of their album – Made in Heaven).


3) The song “Smoke on the Water” by Black Sabbath is about the smoke from a casino fire when a fan at a Frank Zappa concert accidently burnt down the casino in Montreux leading to smoke over the waters of Lake Geneva.

true, but the song is by the band "deep purple".


1) Swiss Army knives are red so that they can be seen easily in the snow (and it's the national colour)

probably rather for the national colours: red and white.

2) There are NO mosques in the whole of Switzerland.

x, see e.g.

3) A lot of the mountains contain hollowed out bunkers for army and civilian protection in the event of an attack. Most males are conscripted and keep a firearm at home (all bullets are sealed however).



1 It's against the law to slam your car door in Switzerland.

i don’t know if it still applies, but sure from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., see below.

2 Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have their own bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter.

o yes, if you don't have your own in your house, the community will provide it. this law was introduced during the cold war when atomic attackes were more feared than these days. it is not compulsory anymore to have one in your house if you build a new house. however the communities still provide one.

Although the Alps are generally associated with Switzerland, they also stretch through the following countries: Austria and Slovenia in the east, through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west.



1 The top ten programs of TV viewership in Switzerland were during the 2004 UEFA football (soccer) championship.

2 The 2008 Euro Football* championship will be co-hosted by Switzerland & Austira, becoming the largest sports event ever hosted by Switzerland.

o (* i.e. soccer)

3 As a landlocked country, Switzerland perform extremely well in yachting events, including the America's Cup!

o yes, the "alinghi" team won twice that cup.


1 Emmentaler ('Swiss cheese') is a cow's milk cheese that has been made in Switzerland's Emmental Valley since the 15th century.

some say even 13th century. see[page][language]=4

2 Holes in Swiss cheese are caused by carbon dioxide gas given off by the bacteria that also provide the fermentation and flavour during making of the cheese.


3 Foundue was originally a peasant meal to use up hard cheese and old bread and is dervived from the French word “fondre,” meaning “to melt”.



Arthur Conan Doyle – the famous author – of Sherlock Holmes fame – actually brought skiing to Switzerland when he stayed near Davos with his sick wife (there is a plaque there to commeorate this).

The Swiss flag – although being square (like the Vatican) – when being used on the ocean by a ship – needs to be rectangular.


Swizterland played an important part in the Reformation with both Calvin and Zwinli coming from Switzerland.



1. On July 22, 1892, as two boys trolled for bass near the south shore of Lake Geneva, they were startled to see the head of an extraordinary serpentlike creature as it rose out of the water 20 to 30 yards away. It opened its huge mouth, revealing several rows of sharp, hooked teeth, and focused its fierce eyes on the terrified onlookers. It began swimming toward them, and the boys, literally paralyzed with fear, were unable to move.

2. While vacationing in Cama, Switzerland, Joern Hansen and his girlfriend Anne, appear to have filmed something that may leave many guessing. A unicorn – see link:

3. There are well over 40 shipwrecks in Lac Leman (Lake Geneva), including 6 railway cars from the mid to late 1800's (see – GREAT CACHES!!!!!!


1 In Switzerland, it's was once against the law to slam your car door.

2 Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have their own bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter.


Businesses in European countries commonly use handwriting analysis in their employment practices. In France and Switzerland, approximately 80 percent of the large corporations use graphology in their hiring procedures.

o the percentage is probably too high, but graphology is used sometimes, especially for leading/managing employees.

Switzerland is the only country with a square flag.

x except for the vatican, see above.


1 – There are four official languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian, and Romanch. English is sort of an unofficial fifth language, and you will find this selection of five languages on the main Swiss Government Web Page. (


2 – 100,000 Swiss can demand via referendum that the Constitution be revised.


3 – About 20% of the people living in Switzerland are foreigners (19.6% in 1999).



1 They are also known as Helveticans, which is a name of a typeface on MS Word.

o the original typeface is called "helvetica" which literally means "swiss" (in latin). said font is designed by a swiss (who else) in 1957 and is still one of the most popular fonts in use.

2 Their national airline is named "Swiss." Not Swiss Air, not Swiss Airlines, not Swiss Airways or Swiss Wings.

o true, but the legal name is "Swiss International Air Lines". sadly they were sold to the german lufthansa some years ago. the former airline preceeding "swiss" was "swissair" (they went broke in 2001).

3 Their internet address extension is .ch

o meaning "confoederatio helvetica", the latin name of switzerland: swiss confederation. you may see CH also as stickers on cars, as once it was (or still is?) compulsory to indicate the country when driving abroat in europe.


1. In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis.

1.b The last legal execution of a witch was in 1782 in Switzerland.


2. How did Switzerland get its name? The German (and English) country designation "Schweiz" or "Switzerland respectively, along with the Swiss flag, is derived from "Schwyz", one of the founding cantons of Switzerland. A canton is a state of the federal state of Switzerland of which there are 26.

The name Schwyz is first attested in 972 as the village Suittes and is parhaps related to Old High German suedan "to burn", referring to the area of forest that was burned and cleared to build. The name was extended to the area dominated by Schwyz (the Canton of Schwyz), and later to the entire Old Swiss Confederacy: while other cantons tended to resent this in the 15th century, the term Schwyzer was widely adopted as self-designation after 1499, out of spite, as it had been employed as a term of abuse by the Swabian side during the Swabian War, and Eidgenossenschaft and Schwytzerland could be used interchangeably in the 16th century.

3. What is the postal code for Switzerland? 

Switzerland is distinguished by putting an CH (Confoederatio Helvetica) on parcels, etc... but, of course, every – even small villages – district in Switzerland has its own postal code.


Berne (capital): CH-3000 and others variing around 3000...

Zurich (biggest city): CH-8000 and others...

Meiringen (village, where – according to the books – Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty died – has about 5000 inhabitants): CH-3860...

- did you get the idea? According to the code, Meiringen has to be close to Berne... and yes, it's part of the same canton (district or better state).

o there are 5100 postal codes in use of the 9000 possible ones (1000 ... 9999). no postal code starts with 0 (zero).

4. what are the latitude and longitude lines of Switzerland? roughly 47 degrees North; 7 degrees 30 minutes East. 


5. how far between ireland and switzerland? Between Dublin, Ireland and Zurich, Switzerland, as the crow flies: 774 miles (1245 km) (672 nautical miles).


Sorry added 2 extra i was having fun.



1 In Switzerland,it is against the law to flush the toilet after 10pm if you live in an apartment.

x yes and no, but rather no. generally, loud noise is not allowed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., so if your apartment is not solidly built, then your flushing may cause noise disturbing your sleeping neighbors. but in 99,9% the flushing in the nighttime does not cause much noise.

2 In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself while standing up, after 10pm

x see comment above.


1 • The Swiss spend as much annually on subsidizing three cows as they do on primary schooling for one child.

i wouldn’t be surprised.

2 • Switzerland has three main topographical zones: the mountainous alpine region (60 per cent), the midland plain (30 per cent), and the Jura hills (10 per cent).


3 • Switzerland has the highest percentage (0.01%) of people over the age of 100 in Europe. Only the Japanese do better. There were 798 Swiss centenarians in 2000, 677 of whom were women, for a population of 7.2 million.

o i just read in the paper: there are twins turning 202 years in feb. 2008 (each of the two ladies "only" 101, of course).


1. The Swiss Air Force only provides ready-to-take-off aircraft during office hours – on working days. The air force staff declared that, due to financial limits, they are not operational all the time.

2. Any citizen may challenge a law that has been passed by parliament. If he is able to gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days, a national vote has to be scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority whether to accept or reject the law.


3. The Swiss guards, the personal bodyguards of the Pope, are really Swiss. They are recruited in the Catholic cantons of Switzerland. The reason they wear those particular uniforms is that the treaty that established the guard was signed in the sixteenth century -- and that's the uniform they wore in those days!




1 Switzerland has the highest number of car thefts per capita.


2 Switzerland has the highest per-capita consumption of soft drinks in the world.

3 Though it is illegal to produce, store, sell and trade absinthe (special alcohol), it is legal to consume it.

x that law has changed. absinthe is now legal and becoming more popular. outlawed 1908–2000.


1 – Switzerland is one of the only countries to have no mineral deposit in it.

2 – They have the oddest public toilets, see

ooo great! love this one. have to have a session there next time i go to basel! (it is only _one_ toilet that is like this one.) strangly enough, i once passed that object in a rush last year on the way to a cache and did not pay much attention to it as i just had the cache in mind (i thought it was some new temporary arts object).

3 – Switzerland is home to the world's largest manufacturer of marine engines.


1. It is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis.

2. There really is no lake named: Lake Geneva. It's real name is Lake Leman.

both names are in use. (the french name is only lac léman, however).

3. It was once against the law to slam your car door in a city in Switzerland.


Three (3) unusual facts about Switzerland (ernies’ home country).

1) Nappies are diapers

2) Capsican is pepper

3) Budgie Smuggler are speedos

?xo/* well, these three belong to australia. they are aussie words. however, i (ernie) consider australia as my "2nd home country", so you are a bit right. these expressions refer to spindoc bob from australia who was interviewed in podcacher show 149.0 and 150.0.


1 Swiss provinces are called cantons.

o there are 26 of them. they enjoy lots of autonomy.

2 In the canton of Baselland, it's illegal to have a bonfire, except on August 1 (Swiss Independence Day).

3 A common Swiss-German idiom translates to: Blow in my shoes (I bet you can figure out when to use it).

o similar ones (meaning the same) go: "you can slide down my back." or "lick my jacket."

4 Women in Appenzell didn't get the right to vote until the mid 1970s, and the right to vote is controlled by each canton separately.


5 It was once against the law to slam your car door in a city in Switzerland.

6 It's international abbreviation is CH because their name is Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin.



1 The Celts, the early settlers of Switzerland (and the Helvetians among them), were known to stiffen their hair with chalked water.

2 At Rütli stands a lone flagpole marking the location where delegates from Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden made an oath to protect each other from the Hapsburgs (and thus began Switzerland).

3 In 1848 the Swiss adopted a bicameral parliament modeled after USA’s, but with less executive power.

o (the people themselves have more power to interfere, see facts further above.)



1. Montreux in Switzerland has two statues honoring stars Charlie Chaplin and Freddie Mercury.


2. Rock anthem "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple was recorded in Montreux.

o or let’s say: inspired and composed.

3. The Amish are an Anabaptist Christian denomination, formed in 1693 by Swiss Mennonites leb by Jacob Amman.



1. There is only one swiss astronaut, Claude Nicollier.

o better one than none...

2. Switzerland has no national flower, animal or motto.

o (inoffiially they use the edelweiss flower, e.g., and there is an official motto, see fact somewhere below.)

3. The 1st "Bond Girl" Ursula Andress is from Switzerland.

o (turning 72 this year ...) (and the next bond movie is directed by german/swiss marc forster.)


1 Workers of the Canton Hospital in Baden, Switzerland have found that cheeses produced in alpine areas near Gstaad, Switzerland contain a more heart-healthy mix of fats than cheeses made from the milk of cows grazing at lower altitudes.


2 Charlie Chaplin died in Switzerland in 1977.

o and he even lived here , not only died ... my mother even saw him once in the street when she was young and chaplin was already fragile.

3 Switzerland has the most hospital beds per 1000 people.

o 5.8 beds per 1000 people (average in europe: 4.6).


1. Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have their own bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter.


2. The thumb is used to indicate "1" when counting with fingers. Thus, if you want to ask for one of something, only hold up the thumb. If you hold up the index finger you will likely get two items.

oo good one! but not only in switzerland.

3. FM radio stations are on both even and odd frequencies. In North America, stations are only on odd frequencies (e.g., 105.3, 105.5, 105.7FM).

oo i like this one too. hmm, but isn’t that rather an odd fact about the u.s.? ;-)



1) There are 3 official languages recognized by the Swiss government: German, French and Italian.

x and romansh (recognized in 1938, officialized as writing language for the "bureaucracy" in 2000).

2) The county of Switzerland covers and area of approximately 41,285 square kilometers.

o (country)

3) 70% of Switzerland is covered in mountains.

o approx., if you include all the hills, sure.


1. On January 10th 2008 a law went into effect banning the use of a navigation device to warn of speed surveillance locations, and police now have the authority to stop drivers using their GPS units for such a purpose, confiscate and destroy the device and fine the driver — we hate to see what they do to people who read books and feel emotion. As far as we can tell, it’s not actually illegal to own such a device, just illegal to use it for such a nefarious purpose, but at the same time Swiss government has issued a list of “illegal” navigation systems for retailers to remove from their shelves, including devices from TomTom, Garmin, Mio, Navman, Medion, Route66, Packard Bell, Sony and ViaMichelin.

o yes, gps devices with built-in speed camera warnings are indeed not legal anymore.

2. Sat., Aug. 18, 2007 BETTMERALP, Switzerland – Hundreds of naked people formed a “living sculpture” on Switzerland’s Aletsch glacier Saturday, hoping to raise awareness about climate change. The photo shoot by Spencer Tunick, the New York artist famous for his pictures of nude gatherings in public settings worldwide, was designed to draw attention to the effects of global warming on Switzerland’s shrinking glaciers.

o watch this video

3. March. 2, 2007 ZURICH, Switzerland – What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein. According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers from the neutral country wandered 2 kilometers (more than a mile) across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back. A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story, but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.



1) "In 1471 a chicken in Basel, Switzerland, was found guilty of laying a brightly colored egg "in defiance of natural law". It was burned at the stake as "a devil in disguise"."


2) In Switzerland, it's was once against the law to slam your car door?

3) only country with a square flag.

x (almost-only, see above)


1) Just behind the Japanese, the Swiss are the most depend on trains in the world (~40 trips and ~1100 miles per person annually!)


2) In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis.

3) My family can be traced back to Switzerland! My ancestor Johannes came over from Switzerland with his family in the mid 1600s. Times were tough, and his family and two other families emigrated to America. They were from the small town of Leisberg, in the district of Laufen, in the Canton of Basel-Country. In 2001, my father and uncle went to Leisberg on a genealogy trip. They found the town and met with the daughter of the town president/mayor, who was one of three people in the town of approximately 1400 people who could speak English. With her help, they completed much of the genealogical research they had hoped to complete, which included visiting the Swiss Archive (Which is in a hollowed out mountain!). The town had a big dinner to celebrate. The town is set up as a corporation (burgerkorporation), and after meeting with the president of the corporation they learned that as descendents of the founding family of the town, if we ever moved to the town we would be entitled to free rock from the quarry and a free delivered cord of wood! 


1. It is illegal to a mow a front lawn dressed as Elvis in Switzerland. Source:

2. Swiss people are also known as Helveticans, which is a name of a typeface on Microsoft Word. Source:

o see above about "helvetica".

3. Though Switzerland is a landlocked country, their sailing team is tied for second place with New Zealand for most America's Cup Wins (they have won 2 cups). Source:



1. It was once against the law to slam your car door in a city in Switzerland!

2. The last legal execution of a witch was in 1782 in Switzerland.


3. In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis.


1 If Spindoc Bob got arrested for dancing in Switzerland, he would want to contact the Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General at Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 172, 1211 Geneva 19, Phone: +41 022 799 9100


2 Switzerland is the native land of Ernie and the first bond girl – Ursula Andress.


3 The closest geocache to "Ernies of Switzerland" isn't in Switzerland at all, but in "The Forest" -- GCP9QD

x hummmmm? what? please gimme a hint!


1 William Tell is said to have lived in the Canton of Uri in Switzerland in the early 14th century.


2 That there is 3 official language in Switzerland… German 63.7%, French 20.4% Italian 6.5%

x (see above)

3 That Switzerland have more high peaks than any other country in Europe: 48 over 4000 meters (13,120 feet)




1   In Switzerland, it was once against the law to slam your car door ( I should implement that law at my house, my 11 year old daughter is a serious car door slammer).

2   In 1471 a chicken in Basel, Switzerland, was found guilty of laying a brightly colored egg "in defiance of natural law". It was burned at the stake as "a devil in disguise.


3   In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis.



1. There are palm trees in Switzerland. They are in the Ticino region which is known as the Tropical Alps Region.


2. In an effort to find a drug that would help migraine headache sufferers, Swiss scientist Dr. Albert Hofmann discovered the substance Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, LSD.


3. Switzerland has a lesser known fourth language. In addition to German, French, and Italian, there is a language called Rumantsch which is spoken by fewer than 50,000 people. Rumantsch has 5 dialects.



When reading these 3 unusual facts about Switzerland, keep in mind that Calgary is the heart of Canada's oil & gas sector and that we're currently enjoying -40 C or colder weather with blowing snow....

1. The 1993 world-record tallest snowman was built by 8 residents of Saas-Fee, Switzerland. After 21 days of building, their snowman was 30 m (90' 1") tall.

2. Switzerland has no proven oil & gas reserves.


3. The 2nd oldest active geocache in Switzerland is "Swiss Miss – GC1E3" hidden by John Willis on 03 Feb 2001. This 3-star difficulty / 2.5 terrain cache is interesting in that it was archived when John Willis moved to California within months of placing the original cache. It remained dormant until it was revived in the spring of 2006 by geocachers who thought it was the oldest geocache in Switzerland. Talk about preserving history! (NOTE – when I searched for caches in Switzerland, this cache actually showed up 3rd from last in the sort, but for some reason the last cache in the sort was hidden in Dec 2001 making it the 10th oldest cache in Switzerland. This is a strange result...maybe a little glitch at Groundspeak today).



1. Switzerland is an anagram of Lizard's Newt


2. There is only one cache named "Swiss Army Knife" in the world, and it's located in Wilmington, North Carolina, about 95 miles from New Bern, NC – which, aptly enough, is named after Switzerland's capital, Berne!


3. Switzerland is one of only two countries with a square flag. This flag was the basis for the Red Cross symbol, adopted to honor Swiss native and Red Cross founder Henry Durant. Most importantly, of course, we use a replica of the swiss flag to mark a cache as needing maintenance.

o (yes, which is an odd fact about groundspeak: usually the red cross (on white) or green cross (on white) is used for this kind of matter (first help, pharmacy, hospital etc. however the "maintenance" symbol is really the swiss flag, which may actually not be used for other purposes. the wings of the swiss cross have defined dimension / proportion ratio: 6 : 7)


1. An independent researcher has presented conclusive evidence that US astronaut John Glenn was wearing a Heuer stopwatch when he piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first manned U.S. orbital mission. This means that Heuer now named TAG Heuer was the first Swiss watchmaker in space! Prior to Glenn’s historic flight, the only watch to pass beyond the stratosphere was the Russian-made chronograph that Yuri Gagarin wore when he orbited the earth in 1961.


2. Switzerland has also provided for defense of the lives of its civilian population against nuclear terrorism. Realizing after World War Two that nuclear weapons in the hands of power-mad idiots posed a public health threat, the Swiss started a nationwide shelter-building program in 1960. By 1991, there was enough shelter space in Switzerland to protect everyone in their home or apartment, and also enough at their workplace and school. A Swiss citizen is generally never more than a few minutes from a fallout shelter with an air filter.


3. David Bowie – In 1982, the English pop star moved to upper Lausanne in Switzerland to find a haven of stability and fade into anonymity. He purchased an early twentieth-century residence called the Château du Signal, which was built by a Russian prince and is decorated with woodwork and ornate faience. The house was used in the filming of Claude Chabrol's film Merci pour le chocolat (Thank You for the Chocolate) in 2000.



1 Albert Einstein made his discoveries regarding relativity while working in a Swiss Patent office. (I mention this because all of our GPSr's rely on his the equations associated with relativity in order to stay accurate!)


2 In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself while standing up, after 10 PM.

x (see above)

3 A Swiss ski resort announced it would combat global warming by wrapping its mountain glaciers in aluminum foil to keep them from melting.



1 Over 34,000 Swiss Army Knives leave the factory in central Switzerland each day and are exported to over 100 countries.


2 Switzerland was the last country to hold a legal execution for a witch in 1782.


3 The oldest watch manufacturer in the world with an uninterrupted history was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1755. It is Vacheron Constantin.

4 The one you will probably get the most --

In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis.

o (not for the elvis factoid, but for your assumption!)


1.     A little known fact about Switzerland. Prior to 1830 the Swiss Alps had much less ice than they do today. This climate change is not attributed to global warming, but rather a rampant increase in the number of St. Bernard dogs bred in the area. It appears that the dog drool, accumulated from St. Bernards on patrol, coats the Alps each year with as much as 2 inches of ice resulting in a much later Spring for the region.

??? :-)

2.     Lederhosen were invented by the Swiss. The invention came about during one multi-national winter competition that involved Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Italy. All of the participants from the other countries came dressed bundled up and ready for competition in extremely cold weather. The Swiss however arrived wearing only a thin shirt and the lederhosen to show the rest that they were the real men. Not wanting to appear to be sissies, the rest of the competitors quickly adopted the fashion that still exists to this day. However, competition involving lederhosen these days seems to be centered more around warmer weather and drinking beer.

3.     Switzerland has remained a neutral country for a long time and has not been at war since 1815. Considering the nature of man this is an incredible feat and historians have long sought the answer as to how a single country could remain untouched by the world for so long. It turns out the Swiss had a unique solution. In 1814 an assessment was made of all the people of the country who were inclined to go to war. Switzerland then invented the country of Liechtenstein to house all of the aggressive people. This has kept Switzerland at peace for nearly 200 years and Liechtenstein, being so small, has not been able to cause any trouble in all that time too. Every year assessments are made of the Swiss population and as a result there are several immigrations from Switzerland to Liechtenstein. No one has ever immigrated from Liechtenstein to Switzerland.

???? :-)


1. Printers use A4 paper, not "letter". Actually, the Ax series of papers is very logical (being based on fractions of a square meter), but the dimensions are impossible to remember.

o also valid for most of european countries.

2. You cannot turn right at a red light.

o usually not (also for many countries of europe), however there are some exeptions where you can, even in switzerland.

3. License plates are issued to individuals. If you sell the car and buy a new one, you keep the plate.

o sadly, switzerland has no individual car plates (you cannot have your name on it), it is only a 2-letter canton code and a number, e.g. ZH 670888, mine (ZH is for zurich). the low numbers are the oldest and most hard to find and people pay thousands for a 1, 2, 3 or 4 digit car plate in auctions, e.g. GE 123 (GE is for geneva) . if you have a vintage car, you are expected to have a low (= old) number, a high number would be kind of a embarassing mismatch.


1 • It was once against the law to slam your car door in a city in Switzerland.

2 • The highest permanent bungy jump in the world is located near Locarno, Switzerland and takes place from the top of the Verzasca Dam.

3 • Being a Catholic, I know that the last armed conflict on Swiss territory was a civil war between the conservative Roman Catholic and the liberal Protestant Swiss cantons.

o (mid 19th century)


1. It's against the law to slam your car door in Switzerland?

2. 22% of American women aged 20 gave birth while in their teens. In Switzerland and Japan, only 2% did so?

3. Switzerland is home to the world's largest manufacturer of marine engines.

4. There's a mountain in Switzerland that looks just like Cleopatra. If you squint a bit. And maybe take hallucinogenic drugs.

5. The Swiss invented the cuckoo clock in 56,000BC. These timepieces are often hand-carved with various leaf patterns in a Black Forest sort of style, and instead of having a chime like a normal clock have a little wooden bird (which rarely looks even remotely like a cuckoo, but then not many people know what a cuckoo looks like. This includes cuckoos themselves, which is probably why you hardly ever see them – when a potential daddy cuckoo and a potential mummy cuckoo meet, they don't realise what each other are and so cannot mate. Hence there aren't many of them) that pops out of a tiny door and cuckoos. Exactly how these work is a mystery, since normal wild cuckoos are not known for their good time keeping. Presumably Swiss cuckoos are equipped with Swiss watches (or more likely Japanese ones, since the Japanese can make watches that cost a few pounds that are more accurate than any Swiss watch). As you can imagine, the overall effect is somewhat tacky and twee. Clockologists believe that the cuckoo clock was inspired by the rare clock cuckoo, which is known to have existed in the Black Forest until about 1600 (this magnificent bird is now extinct in Europe except for a small colony in Portugal). The male clock cuckoo builds an elaborate clocklike nest in an attempt to attract a mate, who will lay her eggs inside the nest after mating. Both sexes in the pair feed the young until they leave the nest via the little door thoughtfully constructed by the male parent.



1. there are more banks in switzerland than dentists.

could be true.

2. LSD was first ingested by a human in Switzerland in 1943.


3. The formula for calculating life insurance rates was invented in Switzerland.

Upon reflection, my wife came to the following conclusion: It was slightly ironic that all of the items somehow reflect health impacts. Maybe if there were more dentists and less LSD, life insurance rates would be calculated differently. :-)


1. Canadian singer, Shania Twain and her family now reside in La-Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland. Singer Phil Collins also has a chateau there.

o and tina turner who lives near zurich (i.e. near where i live)

2. A 2006 survey found that Zürich and Geneva had respectively first and second highest quality of living in the world.

o (is that the reason why tina moved here?)

3. The Swiss motto is "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno", which is Latin for "One for all, all for one". Just like the Three Musketeers

it is acutally the unofficial motto of Switzerland, there is no official one.


1. In 1891, Karl Elsener invented the Swiss Army Knife, after finding out that the army's knives were manufactured in Germany. He then set off to make a knife that was versatile and could be manufactured in Switzerland. (Why did I pick the Swiss Army Knife? Maybe because of one of Geocaching's links to Switzerland: GSAK!)


2. In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while dressed like Elvis!

3. In a late stage of cheese production, the Propionibacter consumes the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria, and releases carbon dioxide gas, which slowly forms the bubbles that develop the eyes. Swiss cheese without eyes is known as "blind."

o didn’t hear about the "blind" thing yet, but it is really true.


1) No other Swiss person is so widely known as Wilhelm (William) Tell, the Swiss National Hero of Liberty – thanks to the German poet Friedrich von Schiller and his drama Wilhelm Tell. Tell's picture can be seen on the back of the 5-Swiss Franc coins (The largest coin in Switzerland).

o however it is not sure this guy has ever lived or not.

x acutally it is not wilhelm tell (but just an unknown alpine shepherd) on the back of the 5 franc coin, but even most people in switzerland think it is him.

2) The Matterhorn, found in Zermatt, was first scaled in 1865. These days, about 3000 climbers reach the peak EACH summer. (I bet there are caches in the area!)


3) The Castle of Chillon is an extraordinary, oval-shaped castle made famous by Lord Byron because of his poem "The Prisoner of Chillon". (Byron visited the castle as a tourist and carved his name into one of the support pillars – almost 200 years ago).

4) Swiss Cheese is made of the Moon! (jk)

oo sure! see also wallace & gromit. however, wallace thinks it is british cheese.


1 Swiss Miss Coco did not come from Switzerland.  It came from Sicily and a man named Anthony R. Sanna. It was originally was served across America's skies to airline passengers. Frequent fliers took a liking to the cocoa, and when they began to look for it in grocery stores, the Sanna family was more than happy to accommodate them.

2 California is almost 10 times bigger than Switzerland, it covers 404'653 square kilometers (156'297 sq miles). There is no state in the U.S. that comes close to Switzerland in terms of size. Switzerland is nearly the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.


3 Switzerland’s motto sounds like something out of the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno." All for one, one for all!

this motto is not official however.


1) Switzerland has the second largest military (mostly militia) per capita in the world. Not something widely known about a country that is traditionally known for it's neutrality.

o (every male must join the army, at least for some months (unless one has good reasons not to).)

2) Switzerland has a very strong tradition in shooting competitions. 


3) Switzerland is divided up into several different regions by the language spoke there, kinda like Canada. Swiss German, Swiss French, Swiss Italian... i think there may be more actually.


4) This one is just for fun. My ancestors are from Switzerland. When Adolph Fluckiger got off the boat on Ellis Island he went to Bern, Indiana and later moved to southeastern Kentucky.



1.   White chocolate originated here.

wikipedia says it was invented in the u.s.:

2.   Velco was invented by George de Mestral, a Swiss Engineer, in 1945.

o velcro:

3.   There are about 4771 caches in Switzerland, one of the oldest caches is Switzerland is GC103 (High Tension in the Bog) hidden in12/28/2000.



1. In 1471 a chicken in Basel, Switzerland, was found guilty of laying a brightly colored egg "in defiance of natural law". It was burned at the stake as "a devil in disguise.


2. In Switzerland, it's was once against the law to slam your car door?

3. In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis

final note by ernie

1. the top stereotypes for switzerland are: cheese, chocolate, banks, watches, mountains, cows. they were part of many of the above contributions.

2. the most mistaken for country for switzerland: sweden. switzerland (adjective: swiss) is not sweden (adj.: swedish). it is sweden, not switzerland, where people are (believed to be only) blond-haired and where ABBA and IKEA came from). luckily, geocachers are more savvy in geography and noone steped into that trap.

thanks for participating.


yarr_beefcake, stangman, firefighter skippy, ravenhawk (coins),
team psychopuppy, carbon hunter (pathtags)