Schwyz, Switzerland Part I

Schwyz [-i ː -], canton in Central Switzerland, 908 km 2, (2016) 155 800 residents; The main town is Schwyz. The canton lies between Lake Zurich (especially Obersee) and Lake Lucerne and is divided into the Ausserschwyz in the north and the Innerschwyz in the south, which are orographically separated by the mountainous area in between.


According to the constitution of November 24, 2010, the cantonal council (100 members), elected for 4 years according to proportional representation, exercises the law. The mandatory referendum is subject to, among other things. Constitutional amendments, international and inter-cantonal treaties of constitutional status, initiatives and – above a certain amount – spending decisions that were approved in the final vote by less than three quarters of the members of the cantonal council who took part in the vote. The optional referendum includes laws, international and inter-cantonal agreements and spending decisions of a certain amount that are not subject to the mandatory referendum. Every citizen who has reached the age of 18 is entitled to vote and to vote (women’s right to vote since 1971). The highest executive and administrative authority is the government council (7 members elected for 4 years); its chairman, the governor, and his deputy, the governor, are elected by the cantonal council. Schwyz sends 4 representatives to the National Council and 2 representatives to the Council of States. – The highest courts are the cantonal, administrative and cantonal criminal courts.

Coat of arms: The coat of arms shows a white cross floating on a red background in the heraldic left upper corner and is identical to the canton flag, which goes back to an originally non-image red flag from the 13th century (possibly blood flag). The white cross was added later as a symbol for a representation of a saint.

Country nature

The canton of Schwyz is located in the foothills of the Alps and in the foothills of the Alps to the north with the two reservoirs Wägitaler and Sihlsee as well as the Lauerzer and Zuger lakes (south end of Schwyz). The foothills of the Alps are mainly divided into the Molasse zone of the Rigi (in the west, 1,798 m above sea level) to the mountains around the Sihlsee (in the northeast), the flysch zone to the south, which is dominated by the limestone cliffs of the Mythen (1,899 m above sea level), and even further south the Jura and chalk limestone ridges (including Druesberg, 2,282 m above sea level); the highest elevations are Ortstock (2,717 m above sea level) and Bös Fulen (2,802 m above sea level) in the southeast on the border with the canton of Glarus; the lowest point is the shores of Lake Zurich at 406 m above sea level. The canton’s area consists of around 41% agricultural land, a third forest and around 20% unproductive area. In lower elevations, mixed deciduous forests (beeches, firs) are predominant, in higher elevations spruce forests.

Climate: The canton’s location on the northern edge of the Alps ensures comparatively high levels of precipitation, ranging from around 1,400 mm / year on Lake Zurich to up to 3,000 mm / year in peaks. The mean annual temperature in the climatically favored locations (on the Vierwaldstätter and Zuger See) is around 9.5 ° C, in Einsiedeln at 881 m above sea level, for example, 5.5 ° C.


According to historyaah, the population is predominantly German-speaking. In 2014, 62.0% of the residents belonged to the Catholic Church, 11.0% were Protestant Reformed, 16.5% were non-denominational (data on religious affiliation from the structural survey, based on the permanent resident population aged 15 and over). In 2012, more than 4% of the population was attributed to Islam. At 20.2%, the proportion of foreigners is below the Swiss average (24.6%). At 181 residents / km 2, the population density is also slightly below average (Switzerland: 208 residents / km 2). The main settlements are on Lake Zurich (Ausserschwyz) and in the Schwyz basin (Innerschwyz). The largest places are Freienbach (largest district Pfäffikon), Einsiedeln, Schwyz and Küssnacht.


5.6% of employees work in agriculture and forestry, around 26% in the industrial sector and 68.4% in the service sector. This makes Schwyz a canton with a comparatively strong agricultural character (Switzerland as a whole: around 3%).

In the service sector, in addition to social and health services, real estate and business services as well as the hotel and restaurant industry have the highest numbers of employees. In addition to ski and snowboard tourism in Hoch Ybrig and in several smaller winter sports resorts, Rigi and the pilgrimage site of Einsiedeln are particularly popular travel destinations. Industry (especially electronics, machine and vehicle construction, metal processing, wood and wood products) can be found particularly in the communities on Lake Zurich, which are strongly oriented towards the agglomeration of Zurich, as well as in Einsiedeln. In agriculture livestock farming (especially dairy farming) prevails. Agriculture is mainly practiced in the Schwyz plain; in the Ausserschwyz fruit and wine growing.

Schwyz, Switzerland 1