HomeSwitzerland Pictures
10 Shocking Facts About Switzerland

10 Shocking Facts About Switzerland

Like any other country in the world, not everything about Switzerland is as it seems. Although they might be subtle, the fact that they are there regardless means they can't just be overlooked. Because of this, we have done our best to compile some shocking facts about Switzerland that are worth knowing.  

NOTE: Not all the facts mentioned here are crazy. Some are just quite unbelievable, especially when compared to other countries.

Only 15% of the alps lies in Switzerland

Yes, you read that correctly. This is contrary to many people's opinions about the country. To many, the alps make up a large portion of the country's total area. Besides, it is known worldwide as the home of the alps. However, this is just a misconception. The misconception is mainly because Switzerland is home to the highest alps in Western Europe. The Swiss Alps account for a massive percentage of the country's tourism. The stunning and jaw-dropping views and landscape the peaks offer both in winter and summer make Switzerland a popular tourism destination.


Switzerland exports a surprisingly large number of weapons

This is another shocking fact about Switzerland since it is ranked as one of the world's safest countries despite its lax gun ownership laws. As of 2019, Switzerland exported weapons worth over $750 million to about 71 different countries in the world. The value is even expected to be doubled by the end of 2020.

There is a fountain sculpture depicting an ogre eating naked babies in Bern

Known in Bern as the Kindlifresserbrunnen (translates as Child eater fountain), it is one of Bern's and Switzerland's oldest fountains as a whole. The fountain was created in the 16th century by Hans Gieng.

While there are many religious and local folklore arguments about why the fountain was made to depict ogre-eating babies, the truth is no one knows for sure why it was created.  

Not until 1971 were Swiss women granted voting rights

Equal rights in Switzerland did not extend to Swiss women for a very long time. Even when Swiss women were given equal rights with Swiss men, they were only allowed to vote in national elections. Voting in the several cantons was restricted only to men.

Although Swiss men and women now have equal rights under the law, the truth is, it took the country about 100 years to grant women the rights.  

Switzerland has over 450 varieties of cheese

This fact, though not shocking, is quite fascinating and worth a mention. If you are a cheese lover, you are in for a treat should you plan a Switzerland vacation. From super hard cheese to extra soft ones, there is so much cheese to sample.

Credit to the Swiss expertise in Cheesemaking, cheese from the country ranked first in the 2020 World Championship Cheese contest that saw over 3,600 entries.

Switzerland is home to the oldest power plant in the world

Located in the Canton of Aargau, Beznau is a nuclear power plant that has been operating since 1969. The nuclear plant was Switzerland's solution to enhance the power produced by its hydroelectric plants.  

Physician-Assisted Suicide is legal in Switzerland

Switzerland's laws allow anyone who has consistently voiced out his wish to end his or her life to do so. The only clause is the individual has to do so by their hands even after being provided with the means to do so by a physician.

As a result of the legality of the procedure, Switzerland attracts an inflow of people who wishes to end their life but couldn't do so because it is illegal in their country.  

NOTE: Euthanasia is illegal.

Parents do not have the absolute right to name their child whatever name they want

Swiss law prohibits parents from giving names that could "damage the interest of their child". This law has been exercised several times, with the most prominent one being that of famous Swiss Musician Christine Lauterburg. Three of the names the musician chose to name her daughter were overruled.  

Swiss marry very late

The average marriage age for men in Switzerland is 33.1, and it is 30.9 for Swiss women.

BONUS FACT: Prostitution is legal in Switzerland after being legalized in 1942. There are several licensed brothels, especially in the country's major cities, where sex workers operate.

Note: This ranking is based on our own experience and research. No uniform rating scheme is followed. We have no claim to the correctness of the ranking. What counts for us is to show the diversity and beauty of Switzerland. Have we published incorrect information? Let us know:

Photo Credits:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10