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13 Things that happen only in Switzerland

We love Switzerland and its pristine nature. And there’s no doubt about it: the country wouldn’t be the same without its idiosyncratic rules. Some of them are sensible, some of them keep things running smoothly and others are just plain kooky. Here are ten of our favourites.
  1. Zürich has a staggering 1224 fountains. If you are visiting Switzerland for the first time, you will undoubtedly notice the many fountains with crystal clear drinking water! As it turns out, with no less than 1224 fountains, Zürich is one of the world’s most fountain-friendly cities!
  2. Nuclear Bunker – Every house must have a nuclear bunker or access to one. Well, you never know when disaster might strike. Swiss government has made it compulsary to protect its citizens against any disaster.
  3. Naming a Child -Parents must not give their child a name that might damage the child’s interests, as Swiss musician Christine Lauterburg knows only too well. The authorities banned her from naming her daughter Lexicon.
  4. Isolation is a Abuse –  ‘Social species’ such as guinea pigs, goldfish and budgerigars must be kept in pairs or have contact with others of their own kind. Switzerland’s advanced animal rights laws see isolation as abuse, and we think that deserves applause.
  5. Dog Tax – Some places are not so animal friendly, though. In 2011 officials in tiny village Reconvilier dredged up a bylaw from 1904 that would allow them to kill pet dogs if owners did not pay their dog tax. Yes, you have to pay a tax on your dog. The annual fee is determined by the dog’s size and weight.
  6. Beware of Sunday – On Sundays you must not hang your washing out to dry or mow your lawn or recycle. Last year German native Judith Schulte got on the wrong side of Zurich’s authorities when she dared to drop off her recycling on the wrong day. She was offered the choice between a fine and two nights in jail.
  7. Weeing after 10 PM – In some cantons it is forbidden for men to have a wee standing up after 10pm. The reasoning? It creates too much noise.
  8. Nude Hiking – And our favourite: In 2009 Canton Appenzell banned hiking in the nude following an influx of ‘naked tourists’ from Germany. Two years later a man caught wandering naked past a picnic site was fined CHF 100.
  9. Europe’s largest clock face is in Zürich, Switzerland, The clock of St. Peter’s church in Zürich is the largest church clock face in Europe. Would you believe that it is even bigger than Big Ben’s?
  10. Latin is the third most prevalent language – Latin is not actually spoken, but appears on the stamps and coins as “confoederatio helvetica” or “helvetia”. This is the Latin name of Switzerland. The spoken languages are: German, French, Italian, Romansh. Now you know why the international abbreviation for Switzerland is “CH”!
  11. Swiss mailboxes have two slots – one for letters, and one for packages. Almost every home in Switzerland has the same type of mailbox. The top slot for letters is usually locked, and the bottom section has a door for packages. Unlike the US, letters to be mailed cannot be left in the mailbox for pick-up.
  12. Living with firearms – Switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, but little gun-related street crime – so some opponents of gun control hail it as a place where firearms play a positive role in society. However, Swiss gun culture is unique, and guns are more tightly regulated than many assume.
  13. SUICIDE TOURISM (Legal), Yeah! you read that right. Switzerland incorporates this “tourism”.Astounded? ,Dignitas is a Swiss nonprofit member’s society providing assisted / accompanied suicide to the clients seeking an end to their life. Their clients are rich people usually suffering from incurable chronic illness. They have helped over 2,100 people die at home within Switzerland and at Dignitas’ house/flat near Zürich.


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