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A TRAVELLER cannot reach Switzerland without a passport from a minister of one or other of the states of Europe; and, though it is seldom called for while he is in the country, yet he must be prepared to produce it whenever it is required. At the gates of Geneva, Bern, and perhaps in one or two other capitals of the cantons, passports are demanded on entering. Persons proceeding from Switzerland to the Austrian states, or Bavaria, must have the signature of the ministers of those countries attached to their passports; or they will not be allowed to pass across the frontier. Most of the ministers accredited to the Swiss Confederation reside at Bern, or have their passport-offices there; except when they follow the Diet either to Zurich or Lucerne. Strangers, therefore, should take care to secure their visé as they pass through Bern, or through the town where the Diet is sitting. The Sardinian minister resides at Lausanne.
? 2. MONEY.'
There is hardly a country in Europe which has so complicated a Currency as Switzerland; almost every canton has a Coinage of its own, and those coins that are current in one canton will not pass in the next. Let the traveller, therefore, be cautious how he overloads himself with more small change than he is sure of requiring.
Detailed tables of Swiss coins are given below, but it is scarcely worth the traveller's while to perplex himself with their intricacies; since he will find French Napoleons and francs current nearly all over Switzerland. They are, indeed, on the whole, the best coins he can take with him; and, except in some very remote situations, on the E. side of the country, the innkeepers always make out their bills in French francs, or will do so if required. In the cantons of St. Gall, Appenzell, and Grisons, which border on Germany, and where Bavarian florins (=20 pence) and kreutzers are in common circulation, zwanzigers (or 24 kreutzer pieces) are a very convenient coin, and will often go as far as a franc, in payment of fees, pour boires, &c.
= 42 = 30
Zwanzigers are current throughout German Switzerland for common purposes.
It is necessary, however, to prevent being cheated, that the traveller should know the value of one or two Swiss coins.
N. B. This distinction between the value of French and Swiss francs should be particularly attended to.
ld. (nearly) English.
1 batz contains 10 rappen, and The Swiss coins most frequently met with are pieces of 5 batzen, or a Swiss franc; 1 batz, batz, and rappen. Pieces are also coined of 1, 2, 3, and 4 Swiss francs.
Value of some Foreign Coins in Swiss Currency.
1 French Napoleon
1 French 5 franc-piece 1 French franc =
(commonly) 7 batzen or exactly 6 batzen 8
= 9 batzen.
1 English shilling
17 Swiss francs 4 batzen 6 rapps. 4 Swiss francs, or 40 batzen.
coins in the following tables
almost obsolete; and, where they still exist, French francs and Swiss batzen are also current, so that the traveller need rarely have recourse to them.
Aarau, Bern, Basle, Freyburg, Soleure, Vaud, and Vallais. These cantons combined together in 1825 to adopt an uniform currency.
= 10 batzen.
= 15 batzen = 60 kreutzers.
3 Swiss fr. 4 batz 5 rappee.
French 5-franc piece
Appenzell, St. Gall, Schaffhausen, and Thurgovie.
Accounts are kept in florins (24 gulden foot, as in Frankfurt, Baden, &c.).
The canton of Geneva has adopted the French monetary system, and has coined pieces of 5 and 10 centimes in copper, and of 25 centimes in billon. The following are the old coins:
a Florins (petite monnaie) containing 12 sols = 12 deniers.
b Livres, courants of
c French francs and centimes
d Swiss francs, and batzen
1 French 5-franc piece
1 French franc
1 Brabant dollar
20 sols = 42 deniers.
(The pound sterling is usually worth 25 fr. 50 c.)
1 Florin or Gulden = 40 schillings.
Florin contains 15 (light) batzen, 60 kreutzers, or 70 blutzgers = 1 French
Lucerne and Unterwalden.
Florin of 15 (light) batzen, 40 schillings, or 60 kreutzers.