What Is The Capital Of Switzerland?

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what is the capital of Switzerland

The capital of Switzerland is Bern, Zurich or Geneva. Switzerland, a federated country in the heart of central Europe, does not have one designated capital. However, Bern is the unofficial capital and is often called the federal city, despite not being officially acknowledged. While some also recognise Lausanne as its judicial capital and Zurich as the economic capital of Switzerland, it is also an unofficial capital. Read more to know what is the capital of Switzerland.

Which is the Official Capital of Switzerland?

Bern is the de facto i.e. in effect capital but is not recognized by the government. It is, however, known as the federal city. It houses the president and the federal palace, which acts as the government’s headquarters and the parliament. 

On the other hand, also, Zurich is known as the financial hub of Switzerland. Zurich is an economic might and is among the world’s cities with the highest living expenses. It is also the most well-known and populous city in the country.

Credits: Pinterest

Another city frequently mistaken for the capital of Switzerland is Geneva. Geneva is the second most populous city in the country and is the location of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN), and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). However, Geneva is not the capital of Switzerland.

Did You Know? Switzerland Has the Highest Consumption of Confectionary and Chocolate Items.

Why Is Bern Not The Capital?

Switzerland is a country which is rich in French, German, and Italian influences, the decision to locate the national parliament was influenced by diplomatic considerations. 

  • Upon becoming a federal state in 1848, Bern was selected as the de facto capital because of its strategic position that bridged the divide between the German- and French-speaking regions. 
  • Additionally, Bern pledged to provide the land for the administrative buildings at no cost.
  • Furthermore, in the selection of Switzerland’s capital, the political leaders aimed to avoid concentrating too much power in one city, which is why Bern was ultimately chosen. 
  • The Swiss parliament was built in Bern. Nonetheless, the Swiss constitution does not explicitly designate Bern or any other city as the national capital of Switzerland. 
Credits: Pinterest

About Bern: The De-Facto Capital of Switzerland

Bern is a city and the capital of both the Bern canton and Switzerland, situated in the western-central region of the nation.

  • It is located along a narrow bend of the Aare River. The presence of the old castle of Nydegg, which protected a bridge over the Aare, likely prompted Bernhard V, Duke of Zähringen, to establish Bern in 1191 as a military outpost at the border of the German-speaking Alemanni and the French-speaking Burgundians. 
  • Following the downfall of the Zähringen family (1218), Bern became a sovereign city.
  • Over time, it grew its influence by taking over nearby lands, eventually becoming a sovereign state that in 1353 joined the Swiss Confederation, where it soon took on a leadership role. 
  • After a catastrophic fire destroyed the town, which was mainly made of wood, Bern was reconstructed using sandstone.

Also read: What Is The Capital City Of Meghalaya?

Geography and Economy of Bern

Bern is linked by numerous bridges to the newer sections of the city on the right bank and maintains a more medieval look than any other city in Switzerland. 

  • It features 2.3 square miles (6 square km) of covered walkways, towers, and fountains from the 16th century. 
  • The Gothic cathedral, built between 1421 and 1598, stands out with its 328-foot (100-meter) spire, which is the tallest in Switzerland. 
  • Other notable structures include the City Hall, the Nydegg Church (1494), and the Federal Palace. The famous Clock Tower (Zeitglockenturm) is known for its 16th-century clock and mechanical puppets that perform four minutes before each hour, while the Cage Tower (Käfigturm) is the last remaining part of the city’s old walls. 
  • A popular design element is the bear (Old High German: bero), which is a tribute to the legend of the first animal slain by Berthold V, the city’s founder, and is believed to be the origin of the city’s name.
Credits: Pinterest
  • Bern was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.
  • Beyond its role as the federal capital of Switzerland, Bern is the seat of the international postal, telegraph, railway, and copyright organizations.
  • Its economy is diverse, ranging from the production of printing materials, chocolate, machinery, electrical devices, and chemicals to the sale of agricultural products and the operation of a major rail junction. 
  • The Belpmoos Airport, situated 6 miles (10 km) southeast, offers regular flights to Zürich’s international airport during the summer. The population of Bern is predominantly German-speaking and Protestant. As of 2014, the population was 129,964.


What is Switzerland famous for?

Switzerland is renowned for its peaks, timepieces, and culinary delights, particularly its famed cheeses and chocolates. It’s an incredible destination for winter activities. The British Royalty is particularly fond of snowboarding in Klosters, while skiing in Zermatt offers breathtaking vistas of the famous Matterhorn mountain.

What is Switzerland’s 3 capital?

The three capitals of Switzerland are Bern, Zurich and Geneva.

Which city is called Indian Switzerland?

‘Khajjiar’ is situated near Dalhousie in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Khajjar is referred to as the Switzerland of India.

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