Bordered by Germany on the northern side and France to the west, Switzerland is a federal republic situated in Western Europe. This country was never drawn to a war since the early nineteenth century and joined United Nations just a decade ago. Red Cross, an international humanitarian organization, came into being in this country. It enjoys the status of being one of the richest countries, and two of its cities are ranked highest in the world in terms of quality of life. These two cities, Geneva and Zurich, are also listed among the world's global cities and are popular destinations for shopping and various economic activities. Switzerland is also known for its fascinating natural beauty as its mountainous regions have rich variety of plants that are not found at other altitudes. It has an abundance of beautiful landscapes which include lakes and green meadows. Visitors to this country would feel rejuvenated as they breathe in its clean and fresh air.
Human existence in Switzerland dates back to nearly 150,000 years and the evidence of farming activities carried out around 5300 BC was found at a place called Gachlingen. During the later years of Iron Age, La Tene culture flourished in the northern region of Lake Neuchatel. Around 58 to 15 BC, several battles were fought between the Roman Empire and tribal groups called the Helvetii that occupied the Swiss region, resulting in conquest of Alps by Romans and its integration into their Empire. In the late thirteenth century, Old Swiss Confederacy was formed between valley communities of central Alps for facilitating better management and ensuring peace in the region, especially on important trade routes. The French government gained control over Switzerland and imposed a new constitution in the late eighteenth century. After a series of civil wars, a new constitution was drawn with a significant influence of the American constitution. In the year 1891, this constitution was revised with an inclusion of certain elements of direct democracy. Even when the world was gripped by two World Wars, Switzerland was not invaded by any country. While it joined Council of Europe and United Nations, it is still not a member of European Economic area.