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Dictionary Project, Volume X: Switzerland

The Dictionary Project is a post-a-day exploration of The Century Dictionary and Cylopedia, a twelve-volume set printed in New York in 1901. The Project runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, and matches volume numbers to calendar months. Volume X is The Atlas, and today is Day 16.

Switzerland here looks very much like it does today; I can’t see any obvious difference in the shapes of the borders. I didn’t know, though, that the border runs through Lake Geneva!

Map of Switzerland, 1897

Switzerland’s borders fall mostly on waterways (lakes, rivers) and along the tops of mountain ranges, both Alps and Pennines. Hands up if you knew that the Pennines’ official name at this time was the “Pennine Alps”. Hands up again if you knew that the Alps between Switzerland and Germany are called the “Rhaetian Alps”. Anyone? Anyone. Bueller? That’s something else new I learned today. Between that, and the fact that Lake Geneva straddles the border between Switzerland and France, Lago Maggiore’s topmost portion lies in Switzerland, not Italy, and that the Bodensee (aka the Lake of Constance) straddles the border between Switzerland and Germany, my brain might have reached its single-day capacity for new geographic information.

Switzerland has been on my to-see list for a long time. And not just because of the chocolate, either.

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