Switzerland may not rank foremost among the centres of European culture, the nation nevertheless can boast of an impressive list of contributors to the arts and sciences. On the one hand, because of limited opportunities at home, some of Switzerland's creative minds have chosen to live elsewhere. This has been particularly true of architects. On the other hand, Switzerland's orthodox neutrality and its laws of political asylum have made the nation a magnet for many creative persons during times of unrest or war in Europe. The mid-19th century was such a time, as were the 1930s and '40s, when the rise of fascism caused a number of German, Austrian, and Italian writers such as Thomas Mann, Stefan George, and Ignazio Silone to seek harbour in Switzerland.
Swiss culture has contributed notably to literature, art, and music. It is an amalgam of the German, French, and Italian cultures embodied in the Swiss linguistic regions; it is separated from these parent cultures, for example, by Swiss dialects and cultural cross-pollination.