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Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked Alpine country in Central Europe. The country, which borders Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east, was historically a confederation, and has been a federation since 1848. Switzerland is a federation of relatively autonomous cantons, some of which have a history of confederacy that goes back more than 700 years, arguably putting them among the world's oldest surviving republics. With an area of 41,285 square kilometres, Switzerland is a relatively small country. Switzerland comprises three basic topographical areas namely the Swiss Alps, the Swiss plateau, and the Jura mountains. Switzerland has four official languages namely German, French, Italian and Romansh.
Biel-Bienne is a city in the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is located on the language boundary and is throughout bilingual. Biel is the German name for the town, Bienne its French counterpart. The town is often referred to in both languages simultaneously. Since January 1, 2005, the official name is Biel-Bienne.
The town is located in the north eastern shores of Lake Biel. The city of Bern lies southeast of Biel-Bienne. The origin of the town has been traced to the times when Celts settled in the region. Biel-Bienne was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Basel for hundreds of years. In 1279 the town entered an alliance with Bern which was made permanent in 1352. There have been several conflicts between the inhabitants of Biel-Bienne and the Bishop of Basel.
About two thirds of the population speaks German, about one third French. The town is officially bilingual. In recent years the town has used its bilingualism as an economic advantage. Several call centres are located in or around Biel to make use of the two languages. The main industries of the town, however, are watchmaking and the manufacture of machinery.
A city known for its historic myths and traditions, scenic beauty, luxurious hotels and cottages, Biel-Bienne is one of the favorite holiday destinations for most of the vacation lovers. It is also considered as the preeminent, historical and potential tourism destination that enjoys a very positive reputation with worldwide travelers to become one of the most visited places.

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