Swiss Rivers & Lakes
River Rhône is Switzerland's third largest river. Its drainage area includes the alpine valleys of canton Valais/Wallis and the Lake Geneva region. River Doubs is the major river on the western slope of the Jura mountain chain, marks about one third of Switzerland's border to France and flows to the north in its first section, but turns to the south later on French territory to join River Rhône near the French city of Lyon.
Blue: drainage area of Rivers Rhône and Doubs
River Rhône originates in the Rhône Glacier on the south side of the mountains marking the transition from Bernese Alps to Central Switzerland's alps. A first section of River Rhône leading down to Brig is rural with lots of small tourist resorts.
Brig is a small railway hub: there is a junction of main lines Geneva - Lausanne - Sion - Brig - Simplon tunnel - Domodossola (Italy) and Bern - Thun - Spiez - Lötschberg tunnel - Brig - Simplon tunnel) and you can change to the alpine meter gauge scenic Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn railroad leading from Zermatt - Visp - Brig to Andermatt - Disentis (canton Graubünden) and connecting the valleys of River Rhône, River Reuss and River Rhine.
On the section from Brig down to Lake Geneva there is some industry. Major towns include Sion and Martigny.
Lake Geneva is Switzerland's largest lake, however shared with Savoy (France) on its southern shore. Famous Swiss cities on Lake Geneva include Montreux (with Chillon castle), Vevey, Lausanne (capital of canton Vaud, seat of the International Olympic Comittee), Nyon, and last, but not least, Geneva. Geneva was the seat of the League of Nations after World War I, and is one of three United Nations headquarters (next to New York and Vienna, Austria). Countless International Organizations have their headquarters in Geneva and with all people working for them, Geneva is by far Switzerland's most multicultural city.
River Doubs is the major river on the western side of the Jura mountain chain. Its main direction is from southwest to northeast. Over a long distance, its steep canyon marks the border between Switzerland and France, then it turns a little into Swiss territory just to return to the border and leave Switzerland definitely. River Doubs joins River Rhône near Lyon after a long journey through Burgundy (France).
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