Switzerland is to be found in the central part of continental Europe with a mountainous central area. It is land-locked and has borders with Germany, Italy, France, Austria, and Liechtenstein. It has four official language areas with German and French being dominant.
The country is divided into 26 cantons, which vary in size and population. Larger cantons are rural whereas smaller cantons of higher population include the cities. The largest city is Zurich, which is one of the worlds main financial markets. Other major cities are Geneva, Lausanne, Basel and Berne.
Switzerland is a country of great scenic beauty with a lively tourist industry. The Alpine region has many peaks over 4,000 metres, and is located between France and Austria.
The Jura mountains are between France and the German border and the central area is a flatter part called the Swiss Plateau. This area contains the majority of the Swiss population and its land use is divided between industrial, agricultural and residential. The Swiss Plateau is between Lake Constance in the north east and Lake Zurich on the south east.
Switzerland is one of the smaller European countries, is fascinating with its geography of mountains, lakes and some flatter agricultural areas. There is a marked contrast between the populated business areas to the north, the Alpine areas and the southern European atmosphere on the Italian border.
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