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Konrad Busslinger | profile | all galleries >> «My SWITZERLAND» >> swiss_romande tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map
The Suisse romande (lit.:"Romance Switzerland") is a local name for the French-speaking districts of western Switzerland. The name Romandie (Romandy) is also used. (Note that in French the word "romande" is an adjective and is not capitalised.) The term "Suisse romand" is used to refer to Swiss French, the variety of French spoken in Switzerland. There are about 1.6 million French-speakers in Switzerland, about 20% of the total population.

The word "romand/romande" indicates the Latin or Roman origin of the French language and the general orientation of the region to the French-speaking cultural sphere and to Roman Law. It is used in contrast to "Suisse allemande" (German Switzerland) and "Suisse italienne" (Italian Switzerland), more commonly called "(le) Tessin" (Ticino).

The Suisse romande is not a precisely defined area, but in general includes the Cantons of Fribourg, Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, western Valais, Vaud and the northern part of Berne (known as the Jura Bernois or the Bernese Jura). The city of Geneva constitutes the largest urban area of the region.

German-speaking Swiss refer to the Suisse romande as Welschland and to the French-speaking Swiss as Welsches. This word, related to Walloon and Welsh, refers in German to a foreigner of Celtic or more precisely Gallic origin.

The cultural identity of the Suisse romande is supported by Télévision Suisse Romande, Radio Suisse Romande and the Universities of Geneva (founded by Jean Calvin), Fribourg, Lausanne and Neuchâtel

The expression "Suisse romande" or "Romandie" is best known in the English-speaking world through institutions such as the Geneva-based Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the annual stage race Tour de Romandie.
Biel/Bienne
Biel/Bienne
Fountain figure in La Neuveville
Fountain figure in La Neuveville
La Neuveville the lovely small town
La Neuveville the lovely small town
On the way to La Neuveville
On the way to La Neuveville
Twann
Twann
Twann
Twann
Vegetable market in Biel old city
Vegetable market in Biel old city
Old city from Biel
Old city from Biel
Village fountain in La Neuveville
Village fountain in La Neuveville
Twann
Twann
La Neuveville Old City
La Neuveville Old City