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13 facts about Switzerland and its celebrity connections

By now, you probably know that by law, every guinea pig in Switzerland needs to have a companion. How about that Jean Henri Dunant founded the International Red Cross in Geneva? Or that Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity while living in Bern?

We have previously published a number of interesting facts about Switzerland. But for this follow-up, we have dug up some more intriguing facts about Switzerland and its celebrity residents.

Here are 13 facts about the rich and famous who have left a mark on Switzerland:

César Ritz was the child of a Swiss mountain farmer from Valais. He went on to build a hotel empire that still carries his name today in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

César Ritz - Swiss Hotelier(Photograph copyright Archives Paul Senn, Kunstmuseum Bern)

After visiting her dentist in Zug, actress Audrey Hepburn would swing by the Treichler pastry shop for a slice of Zuger Kirschtorte.

Other cherry tart lovers included Pope Francis, Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin.

Zuger Kirschtorte

Speaking of whom: Charlie Chaplin and his wife, Oona O'Neill, once lived in a mansion above Vevey.

Their property, including the mansion, is now home to the Chaplin's World Museum.

Chaplin's World in Vevey

Queen recorded seven albums in Montreux between 1978 and 1995. Their studio is now a museum and visitors can stand in the exact same spot where Freddie Mercury recorded his last song.

Visit The Studio Experience in Montreux for this ultimate Queen moment.

The Lake Geneva region is the final resting place for many famous people: Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin and Henri Nestlé are all resting in peace there.

Audrey Hepburn Grave in Tolochenaz, Switzerland

Kristina Bazan of Geneva is Switzerland’s youngest multi-millionaire. She started blogging about fashion on Kayture but has since turned into a global brand. Bazan is the face of L’Oréal Paris and other global brands.


Roger Federer owns a luxurious apartment at the marina in Dubai. Located in the Le Rêve building, his flat boasts more than 200 sq meters across five rooms. There is a private gym, ocean views, and, not surprisingly, an on-site tennis court.

Le Reve Dubai - Roger Federer(Copyright Knight Frank)

Back in Switzerland, Roger Federer owns properties in Herrliberg, Wollerau, Valbella and now Rapperswil. With a blank slate of 16’000 sq meters plus lake access, will Federer be building a second castle in Rapperswil?


Soul singer Tina Turner, a Swiss citizen since 2013, has called a Lake Zurich mansion in ritzy Küsnacht her home. She is regularly seen shopping on Zürich’s Bahnhofstrasse, a luxury mile for high-end fashion.


James Blunt owns a chalet in Verbier. The town has named a ski lift after the English singer-songwriter.


Madame Tussaud learned the art of wax modeling from a Swiss physician, Dr. Philippe Curtius. He used the technique to highlight anatomy, only later moving on to portraits. Curtius was a kind of father figure for Marie Tussaud.


Ostermundigen near Bern produced the original Bond Girl. The Swiss actress, Ursula Andress, has starred in two James Bond movies. For her role in Dr. No, she has earned just USD 47’305 in today’s equivalent.

Ursula Andress - Bond Girl in Casino Royale(Photograph copyright imago)

There is another James Bond connection to Switzerland: Institut Montana Zugerberg has educated famous politicians, scientists and filmmakers from around the world.

One of their alumni is Swiss filmmaker, Marc Forster, who directed "James Bond: Quantum of Solace."


And finally, writer Conan Doyle used the Reichenbach Falls in Meiringen as a backdrop for the death of his fictional character, Sherlock Holmes.

Here's yours truly having a grand time at the falls:

Reichenbach Falls - Sherlock Holmes

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

Dimitri Burkhard

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