Monday, October 29, 2012

Religion & Weather in Switzerland


Christianity is the predominant religion in Switzerland.. The 2000 census shows Swiss religious preferences as:
  • 41.8% Roman Catholic
  • 35.5% Protestants
  • 11.1% have no religion
  • 4.3% are Muslim
  • 4.3% specified no religion
  • 1.8% are Eastern Orthodox
  • 1% other
  • 0.4% other christian religions

Of note, the Reformation  began in Zurich on January 1, 1519, when Father Ulrich Zwingli departed from church tradition by preaching a series of expository sermons from the Gospel of Matthew. In the weeks that followed, people crowded his church in Zurich to hear such revolutionary teaching.

In keeping with Swiss neutrality, Jesuits were the only religion barred from settling in Switzerland. The constitution of 1874 guaranteed full religious liberty but repeated the 1848 constitution’s prohibition of settlement by Jesuits and their affiliated societies. Finally, this anti-Jesuit article was repealed in a national referendum in 1973.


As you may recall from one of my earlier posts, Switzerland consists of a plains between a norther and southern mountain ranges. This geographic characteristic is responsible for big differences in the weather among different regions.

In a matter of minutes, the driver on Swiss roads can travel from a clear blue sky to an overcast, rainy region and see temperatures plunge.

On the plain, temperatures can rise to 30ºC (86ºF) in the summer and rarely drop below minus 5ºC (41ºF) in the winter. Now the mountains can get cold, especially the Alps to the South.

The palm lined lakes of Montreux, Ticino, and Valais are the warmest areas. Ticino brags that they have over 298 sunny days a year and a daily mean temperature in July of over 26ºC (79ºF). In Valais, kiwis, peaches, figs and tomatoes are grown in orchards and tiny scorpions can be found.

The best weather for sightseeing is June through October.

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