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National border

Switzerland’s national border is formed by the external boundary of its sovereign territory. It is specified, surveyed and maintained in close cooperation with the five neighbouring countries.

Historische Grenzsteine an der Landesgrenze zu Frankreich

Switzerland is located in the centre of Europe and shares its 1,935 km kilometres of border with five neighbouring countries: 

• France 585.28 km,
• Germany 363.71 km incl. enclave of Büsingen and Lake Constance,
• Austria 180.08 km incl. Lake Constance,
• Principality of Liechtenstein 41.28 km
• Italy 800.22 km incl. enclave of Campione d’Italia

The Swiss national border and its north/south/east/west extremes

As in every country, it is of primary importance to know the course of its sovereign territory – even in the age of globalisation and the European Union.

The national border serves simultaneously as a cantonal, district, municipal and private boundary and therefore the definition must be absolutely identical for all types of borders and boundaries in the cadastral survey. This also holds true for the neighbouring countries.

As the relevant federal authority, the Federal Office of Topography swisstopo is responsible for the maintenance and revision work on the national border in coordination with the neighbouring countries.

The more than 7000 markers along the Swiss border are periodically inspected, maintained and where necessary restored. Many of these are small historical monuments which were already established back in the 16th century. They form an integral part of our cultural heritage and as such are witnesses of our country's history.

Artificial and natural boundaries

With respect to the specification of the national border, a distinction is made between artificial and natural boundaries.

The digital border

Today, the administration and documentation of the national border are carried out in a geographic information system (GIS). For this purpose, the coordinates of the course of the border and the...

Our boundaries can change

Borders are commonly regarded as fixes, but depending on the terrain they are subject to climatological changes and natural phenomena and may thus change their course.

Legal bases and jurisdiction

International treaties, and above all the 1815 Treaty of Vienna, form the legal bases for the specification of the national border. Treaties and agreements with neighbouring countries that concern...


Federal Office of Topography swisstopo Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern
Tel.
+41 58 469 01 11

E-mail


Relevant authority

Geodesy and Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying
E-mail

Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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