The reason Switzerland has no official capital


Many people may assert that the Swiss capital is Bern or confused with Zurich, but this is not entirely true.

Most Swiss people know that it is wrong to call Bern a "capital". Even the mention of Bern as a "federal city" is incorrect. Until 1798, the Union of 13 Swiss states united without a capital. The representatives of each state of this loose coalition meet twice a year at a meeting called Tagsatzung.


It was not until an indivisible republic formed in 1798 that the Swiss authorities at that time proposed to choose a capital following the French model. Because the city of Bern fought hard against the invasion of the French army, the French considered it to be the capital of Switzerland, the most powerful city in the Northern Alps. But the honor of becoming the capital once again came to Aarau, the capital of the northern Swiss state of Aargau today, for a mere four months.

The authorities soon realized the town was too small and moved the capital to the city of Lucerne, Lucerne state, in the Swiss-speaking region of modern-day Switzerland. In May 1799, facing the Second Union War, the authorities came to Berne for refuge, and moved to Lausanne for a while (this place was 50 km northeast of the city of Geneva in the northeast) after the French army withdraw.

From 1803, the title of the capital revolved around six different cities from Freiburg, Solothurn, Basel, Bern, Zurich to Lucerne. By 1815, the candidates were only Bern, Zurich and Lucerne. Even when the National Council and State Council first met on November 6, 1848 in Bern, the new federal state still had no capital.


The city of Bern is located on the plateau of Switzerland. In German, Bern means bear - images appear everywhere, especially on city flags and badges. Photo: Smart Cities.

The Swiss Confederacy only had a modest budget in 1848, the financial burden passed on to Bern with the honor of becoming the seat of government. The city is required to provide space for government buildings, parliament ... Rich citizens stay away from this, and declare government headquarters to be the city's problem. And the authorities had a hard time in the city conference with only over 50% of the votes in favor. On December 27, 1848, the Federal Parliament formally called Bern the seat of the government, but it was not listed as the capital in the Swiss Constitution.

The rulers have decided that this country will not have an official capital, because every territory is of equal importance. While the headquarters of the government is in Bern, many other important buildings can be found scattered throughout the country. For example, the Federal Supreme Court is located in the city of Lausanne, while the Federal Criminal Court is located in the town of Bellinzona. Government buildings are distributed in different cities, to include all of Switzerland's largest linguistic communities such as France, Italy and Germany, in the most equitable and equitable manner possible.

As the seat of government, Bern is the fourth largest city in Switzerland in terms of population. German is the official language of the people here, while German Bern is the most spoken language. Bern's Old Town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Bern has many beautiful landscapes such as Oberland, Kleine Scheidegg Pass at an altitude of 2,061 m, blue lakes like Thun or Brienz, the Aare River. In 2019, this place was named the most livable city in Europe, along with Copenhagen of Denmark, based on the assessment of infrastructure, air quality and personal safety.

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