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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.
Winterthur is a city in the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland. Despite being the sixth largest city in Switzerland, Winterthur is relatively unknown to outsiders, perhaps because of its proximity to Zurich. In the local dialect and by his habbitants it is usually abbreviated to Winti.
Today, Winterthur is a service centre, but many people make use of its proximity to Zurich, which is only 20 minutes by train. The city is located in a basin south and east of the Toss River. The Eulach, a little river, flows in the middle by the city, because of this the town called Eulach-City. Zurich lies southwest of Winterthur. During Roman times the city was known as Vitudurum and Vitodurum. The counts of Kyburg founded the city in 1175. The charter included extensive privileges for the town. In 1264 the Habsburg family inherited Winterthur. The population of Winterthur is about 95,000. Winterthur also acts as a gateway to the rural parts of the Canton of Zurich as a centre for shopping, leisure and entertainment, but also as a train station of major significance.
The town is renowned for its institute of higher education Technikum, which is the largest school of technology in Switzerland. The institute has recently teamed up with schools from Zurich and is now known as Zurcher Hochschule Winterthur. Economically, Winterthur was one of the homes of Switzerland's rail industry and an industrial centre. The rail industry and other heavy industry have largely disappeared. Amongst the most significant companies was Sulzer Brothers, today's Sulzer Ltd., Sulzer AG, commonly abbreviated to Sulzer. Textile production declined even earlier on. Also the Rieter company come from Winterthur.
Switzerland largest bank, and one of the world's large banks, UBS, Union Bank of Switzerland, since 1998 UBS AG, was also founded in Winterthur. In 1989, Winterthur received the Wakker Prize for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage. Winterthur is connected to Germany and Italy by direct trains and enjoys excellent links to Zurich Airport. Winterthur is said the place of best geographical environment and can trace its origins back to prehistoric times. It enjoys a very positive reputation with worldwide travelers.

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