Switzerland in 35 historical maps
The name Switzerland (Schweiz, Suisse) means Land of the Switzers (Swiss people). It refers to Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the country. Its origin is uncertain: it may be derived from the Anglo-Saxon term swiþ- (meaning "strong") or from the Germanic word swint- or Celtic word sveit- ("clearing"). The present name came into use on maps during the 17th century. On earlier maps the Latin name Helvetia was used. This name refers to the Celtic tribes which lived in the area, prior to the people who immigrated from Germany. The first separately printed maps of Helvetia appeared in the early 16th century. The first separate map of Bern was published by Sebastian Munster in about 1560. The city was founded in 1191 by Duke Bertold von Zähringen. It became the capital of Switzerland in 1848.