Well known for its mountains, rolling hills, plains and large lakes, Switzerland is a landlocked country within Central Europe. A federal republic consisting of 26 cantons which are officially known as the Swiss Confederation, Switzerland features a temperate climate which generally varies with altitude. The independence and neutrality of this country have always been respected by major European powers and which has allowed Switzerland to stay away from the two World Wars.
A historic home to many noteworthy contributors of art, architecture, literature, music and sciences, three major languages of Europe are official in Switzerland. Featuring a peaceful, prosperous and stable modern market economy, Switzerland remains a safe haven for investors as it maintains a substantial degree of banking secrecy. With tourism establishing itself in Switzerland as early as the early 19th century, a favorable alpine climate and landscapes offering hiking, skiing and mountaineering opportunities in particular are a tourist delight.