Swissinfo.ch - major Special on Swiss records

Bern, 8 September 2009 - No country builds more bunkers than Switzerland. Europe's longest glacier is in Switzerland. The Swiss are world champions in rail travel, recycling glass and eating chocolate. Switzerland holds many records. Some are disputed. And not all are glorious.

swissinfo.ch tracks down the stories behind the records in written articles, videos, audio slideshows and picture galleries. Each Monday, swissinfo.ch will be presenting a new record: Swiss records, Swiss European and World records - both confirmed and unconfirmed. The Special is rounded out by fun elements such as a quiz and a puzzle.

Why records?

"People measure themselves against others, they want to build up a positive self-image", explains psychologist Carmen Tanner in an interview with swissinfo.ch. Ueli Steck, for example, conquered the north face of the Eiger in less than three hours, while most other climbers need two days. People want to show off their special skills and talents, and set records in doing so, such as the record-holder who produced a pocket knife with 314 blades.

Who wouldn't be proud that their country holds a world record? Switzerland, for example, is building the longest railway tunnel in the world. At 57 kilometres, the Gotthard base tunnel will be three kilometres longer than its nearest rival, the Seikan Tunnel in Japan. Switzerland also holds records that require no human intervention, with the 48 Swiss peaks that rise to more than 4000 metres - nowhere else in Europe has so many mountains that are so high.

And who wouldn't want to be part of a world record? In 2007, every person in Switzerland travelled an average of 2103 kilometres by rail - 127 kilometres more than the Japanese.

Last but not least, the tourist industry advertises Switzerland on the strength of the many records the country holds. At 3454 metres, the Jungfraujoch is Europe's highest railway station, for example.

Yet Switzerland also holds some less impressive records. In 2008, organ donation levels were the lowest in Europe, with just 11.8 organs donated per million inhabitants.

The swissinfo.ch "Records" Special is offered in German, French, Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. A new record every Monday!

Link to the swissinfo dossier:


swissinfo.ch is one of the enterprise units of SRG SSR idée suisse, Switzerland's public-service radio and television broadcaster. Its remit is to inform Swiss people abroad of what is going on at home, and to raise awareness about Switzerland beyond its borders. To this end, swissinfo.ch operates a news and information platform in nine languages at www.swissinfo.ch/.


Peter Siegenthaler, Project Manager, Editor-in-Chief for German

Tel.: + 41 31 350 95 37