Newly Swissed Online Magazine

15 Switzerland facts – from money to spy operations

Bet you don't know half the Switzerland facts in our latest batch.

Since going live in 2010, we have researched and published more than 300 Switzerland facts. Yet, you guys keep asking for more! Some trivia hosts have requested fresh facts. And over the years, middle schoolers have continued to ask for slick intel to include on their school projects about Switzerland.

Read on and please share our latest selection of Switzerland facts:


Switzerland is a monarchy - at least when it comes to its "Schwingerkönig" kings!

Top wrestlers in the discipline of "Schwingen" can net upwards of half a million francs a year. Take Matthias Sempach, a retired "wrestling king", whose estimated take in 2018 was no less than 700'000 francs.

Swiss wrestlers fighting in the sawdust - Schwinger

(Source)


Switzerland boasts the highest density of Porsche cars per capita in the world.

In 2019 alone, no less than 3860 Porsches were sold. (Source: Auto Schweiz)

Porsche with Geneva License Plates

The micro scooter was invented in 1990 by a Dutch Swiss banker.

It was a child of necessity: Wim Ouboter allegedly wanted to get from his house to the nearby Sternengrill take-out for a bratwurst, then on to the bar. The distance was too close for using a car, yet too far to walk. Hence, the micro scooter with its iconic rollerblade wheels was born.

(Source)


No other bill has a higher denomination than the Swiss 1000 franc bill.

One million francs in 1000-franc bills weighs just 1.14 kg. It's a stack of just 10 cm height!

Swiss 1000 franc bill - 1000 Franken Banknote

The Swiss government runs a test of the emergency sirens every year.

On the first Wednesday in February around 1:30 PM, very loud sirens appear out of nowhere. The public is "alerted" about this test in the media, but it might frighten those who were not prepared for it. There are two types of sounds, one being a general alarm and the other alerting of water.

(Source)


For decades, the CIA controlled a Swiss manufacturer of encryption devices.

Knowing the secret codes allowed the CIA to decode diplomatic and military correspondence of 130 foreign countries, giving them a significant edge. This spy operation started in the 1970's and continued until recently.

Encryption device by Crypto AG
Copyright Kecko/Wikimedia Commons

Ready for Switzerland's best running gag?

An infamous study by ETH Zurich determined that people in Zürich walk faster than anyone else in Switzerland. At 1.442 meters per second, they walk equally fast as the preferred international walking speed dictates. (With 1.354 m/s, the Bernese are the slowest...)

(Source)


The last execution for witchcraft took place in Glarus, Switzerland, in June 1782.

Anna Göldi is considered the last "witch" in Europe. A memorial in her name is located in the center of Glarus.


The world's first postal stamp in color was released in Basel in 1845.

The "Basler Dybli" stamp featured three colors: black, blue and carmine red.


The average altitude of Switzerland is 1309 meters above sea.

That's number one in Europe, followed by Turkey and Liechtenstein.


The largest station clock in Europe is in Aarau, Switzerland.

At a diameter of nine meters, it is even larger than the Big Ben clock in London!

Cool Switzerland facts - the Aargau station clock

Instant soup was invented in Switzerland in 1884.

Three years later, Julius Maggi already had a selection of more than twenty different instant soups.


Although the Swiss have eaten less chocolate in the past years, they are still ahead of everyone else.

In 2018, per capita chocolate consumption was 10.3 kilograms - the highest in the world!

(Source)


German pizza deliverers are required to declare pizzas at customs when entering Switzerland.

And since most pizza orders would naturally happen in the evening when customs is closed, there's no point of delivering pizza from Germany to Switzerland, period. It's the Swiss government's way to show the middle finger to cheap German pizza…


In Switzerland, most farmers name their cows.

The most popular names in 2020 are Bella, Fiona, Bianca, Nora, Tina, Sina and Nina.

(Source)

Swiss Farmer with Brown Swiss Cows

That's it! Now, download our e-book with 77 additional Switzerland facts:

77 Facts about Switzerland - e-book from Newly Swissed

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of the Swiss Travelwriters Club.

Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.

Download our e-book: 77 Facts about Switzerland

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