Zurich Is Not the Capital

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Bern the Capital of Switzerland

Bern the Capital of Switzerland

The background image on my business card is a self-portrait in old town Bern, Switzerland. It is a vague reflection in the window of a door in an old stone building. There is a scooter and a bicycle parked in front.

When someone asks where the photo was taken, I tell them that it is Bern which is the capital of Switzerland. A frequent response is, “Isn’t Zurich the capital?”

Switzerland is made up of 23 cantons. Bern City is the capital of the canton of Bern (Berne). It is also the national capital.

The western portion of Switzerland is dominated by French language, the middle is mixed French and German, and the east is German with some Italian and other languages in the south. Many towns in the central part of Switzerland have two official names, one German and one  French. That is why it is common to see the names listed like: Bern (Berne) or Biel/Bienne where my cousin and her husband live.  Overall German is the most frequently spoken language.

The abbreviation for Switzerland is CH which stands for Confoederatio Helvetica. It is a confederation of the cantons. Helvetica is derived from the Latin word for the people who lived in the area that later became Switzerland.

That is the Swiss history and geography lesson for today, for those who need it!

There are more Swiss photos in my galleries. Please follow the Photography link above.

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