Switzerland or officially the Swiss Confederation, is an alpine country in Central Europe and a landlocked country. It is bordered by Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France. Switzerland has, according to the Federal Constitution no capital, the seat of the federal (government and parliament), the Federal City Berne.
The Swiss government is based on original medieval defense pacts, the so-called “confederacies”. It is the oldest surviving document Alliance, the Federal Charter of 1291 between the “original cantons” of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, as the unofficial and mythologized founding document. As a result, developed an entire alliance network of various local rulers, from the first the old Confederation as a loose confederation of states emerged, and finally to Switzerland in its present form as a democratic state was created. This was with the Federal Constitution, created in 1848. Switzerland is divided into 26 partially sovereign cantons, the canton of Jura in 1979 was formed (separation from the canton of Bern). The foreign policy of neutrality of Switzerland has been the Congress of Vienna in 1815 recognized by international law.
Switzerland is one of the more densely populated countries in Europe, with the population in the Central Plateau with the main economic centers in Zurich, Geneva and Basel concentrated. In the alpine canton of Grisons, however, the population density is close to that of Sweden. Of the 7.8 million inhabitants, 1.7 million are foreigners (22 percent).
The four official languages are German, French, Italian and Romansch. In the Census in 2000 reported 63.7 percent of the population German as main language, 20.4 percent French, 6.5 percent and 0.5 percent of Italian Romansh. For any of the four official languages to be preferred, is the country code of Switzerland, “CH” for Confoederatio Helvetica, the Latin term for Swiss Confederation. The name Switzerland comes from the founding canton of Schwyz, and was later extended to the whole Confederation extended.