Zurich's Old Town is the historic part of town – and by historic, we mean medieval. Winding cobblestone alleys run alongside quintessential Zurich attractions like the Great Minster. You'll also find several acclaimed museums – such as the Swiss National Museum and the Museum of Art – and hotels in and around the district.
Though all of the neighborhood's buildings are worth admiring, when visiting Old Town, be sure to check out Muhlesteg Footbridge. This bridge, which is famous for its array of love locks, comes highly recommended by past travelers. But those traveling with kids should consider visiting during the day. Old Town boasts the highest concentration of nightclubs in Switzerland, which come alive once the sun goes down.
The Grossmünster church is a landmark of Zurich. According to legend, Charlemagne discovered the graves of the city’s patron saints Felix and Regula and had a church built as a monastery on the spot.
In the first half of the 16th century, the Grossmünster church was the starting point of the Swiss-German Reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger. The theological college then annexed to the monastery spawned what is now the University of Zürich.
The stained glass windows by Sigmar Polke, the Romanesque crypt, choir windows by Augusto Giacometti, bronze doors by Otto Münch and the cloister Reformation Museum are just some of the highlights see here.
Known to Zurchers as the Fraumunster, the Minster of Our Lady church is popular to visit thanks to its graceful spire (which tops Zurich's skyline) and its Marc Chagall stained-glass windows. The church was founded in the ninth century by Emperor Ludwig, Charlemagne's grandson, though the property's iconic spire wasn't added until 1732. And in 1970, Chagall's famous stained-glass windows were added.
Some previous visitors said the church's exterior isn't much to look at. However, most agree the interior's stained-glass windows are well worth a visit. In addition to the newer Chagall windows, some featuring designs by Augusto Giacometti, who is famously linked to the stained-glass windows at the Great Minster, are also located inside.
The Swiss National Museum resides within a historic, castle-like building in the northern tip of Kreis 1. The museum surveys Swiss art, history and culture from as far back as the fourth century B.C. Exhibits cover everything from medieval and religious frescoes to weapons and Swiss furniture. There are also several ornate rooms to explore during your visit.
According to many past visitors, the Swiss National Museum's architecture alone is worth seeing. However, should you decide to go inside, expect to find a comprehensive overview of Switzerland's history.
Rapperswil Castle is the landmark of the picturesque “City of Roses”, which lies on the shores of Lake Zurich. The castle, which was built towards the end of the 12th century and subsequently renovated on a number of occasions, can be seen from far away.
Just in front of the gates to Solothurn, the castle of Waldegg is located in a beautiful spot with baroque garden and marvellous panorama view. As one of the many aristocratic country estates in Solothurn, it's however the most representative and spacious.
The 78 meter-long facade is an extraordinary and most impressive aspect from a Swiss point of view – and Waldegg castle was built between 1682 and 1686 as a summer residence for Johann Viktor I of Besenval. The castle and premises today represent one of Switzerland's most fascinating estates. The splendour and charisma of the Waldegg castle is matchless throughout the country; with a shrewd mix of French and Italian stylistic elements blended with the strict architecture of a typical Solothurn castle manor.
Between 1985 and 1991 the castle was renovated and today, first and foremost, portrays the aristocratic lifestyle pertaining to the 18th century. The exhibition focuses on the construction history of the castle, together with the family history of the Besenvals and the French Ambassadors in Solothurn.
Building commenced in 1563. The palace used to be the residence of the Counts of Ems (their marriage policy lead to them being related to the Medici) and, along with Glopper castle and Alt-Ems castle ruins, is still privately owned. Of special mention regarding the history of the palace is the discovery of manuscripts A and C of the Niebelungenlied (the song of the Nibelungs).
The Old Town Hall is located next to the New Town Hall on the Rathausplatz. The two buildings are joined by a bridge and both house the offices of Freiburg's city government.
The history of the Old Town Hall dates back to the late 13th century, when the city of Freiburg erected an initial building on what was the Franziskanerplatz (now the Rathausplatz) as office space for the town clerks.
In the High Middle Ages, Freiburg was of one Baden’s flourishing cities, resulting, over time, in the need for a larger city government. The city was forced to purchase more buildings or build new ones, leading to the completion of the Old Town Hall in 1559.
Today, the ground floor of the Old Town Hall houses the Tourist Information Office. The historic entrance hall leads to an open area. A stroll across the excavated cobblestones from the Middle Ages brings you to our offices.
Mehrerau Abbey is one of the most important Cistercian abbeys in the Lake Constance region. Its history stretches back to the 11th century. Its magnificent location beside Lake Constance, the impressive library and its beautiful inner courtyard are most inviting. In addition, the abbey cellar, where specialities of the abbey’s own agricultural production are offered, ensures moments of culinary delight.
This striking building from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is one of the few examples for ring road architecture outside the city of Vienna. A twin building of the post office is found in the imperial spa town of Bad Ischl. Today, the post office includes an exhibition by star Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.
Bregenz’s Upper Town seems more than just a steep city path away from the touristic hubbub by the lake or the hectic shopping world of the city centre. Even from far away one sees the old city walls, which – depending on one’s character – have a threatening or calming impression on the visitors. As soon as one arrives at the entrance, the historic city gate, one leaves the modern world outside. Historic coats of arms, a mummified shark and the relief of a Celtic goddess immediately plunge everyone into a mystical, mythical world and make them think of time periods in which cults, wars and heretics were commonplace.
Visit the exhibitions in St. Martin’s Tower and enjoy a picturesque, beautiful panorama over Bregenz and the Upper Town, the Pfänder, Bregenz’s local hill, the Swiss mountains and of course Lake Constance from the window gallery. Bregenz’s landmark is in truth unique. A warehouse from the time of the city’s foundation c. 1250 originally stood there, which was barely higher than the city wall.
he warehouse had a basement, a ground floor higher up and an upper floor. As early as the first half of the 14th century, there was a small chapel room in the upper floor that was separated with wooden walls. In 1362, Count Wilhelm III of Montfort founded St. Martin’s Chapel, which, in the subsequent years, was furnished with magnificent frescos and expanded across the entire upper floor. In the late 15th century, the previously secularly used ground floor was integrated into the chapel room, with the ceiling being torn out, making the room approximately twice as high.
Around the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, Bregenz was still a pronounced baroque city. Today, numerous baroque echoes can still be found in the cityscape. It is primarily church buildings on which the build and design-happy construction style of the 17th and 18th centuries made its mark.
The Zytglogge (Clock Tower) was Bern's first western city gate (1191-1256) and is now one of Bern's most important sights.The ornate astronomical clock with its moving figures was built in 1530. It served as the city's main clock and thus had an authoritative function in Bern.
"When I get to the top, I feel like Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes, the man who said: “From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries gaze upon you”. Except, for me, it’s not pyramids but a Tower, the Tour des Prisons. It’s not 40 centuries either, but 10, which isn’t bad either. Because the town of Neuchâtel, spread before my eyes, celebrated its 1000th birthday in 2011.
The Parliament Building houses the Swiss Parliament. The Swiss federal government has its headquarters in this impressive structure where the National Council and Council of States convene for regular sessions four times a year.
This Protestant church was built between 1858 and 1868 on the site of a 12th-century church. Designed by J.B. Schacre, the church was built in the highly fashionable Neo-Gothic style. The stained-glass windows are from the original 12th-century church and are some of the most beautiful in the Upper Rhine region. Located on the Place de la Réunion, Saint-Etienne Temple is also a mecca of culture at the heart of the city with concerts, exhibitions and events, especially during Christmas period.
"The Pasquart shows temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. The centre is a place for innovative work and encourages artists to develop for their exhibitions. The Photo forum, the Film podium, the espace libre and the Kunstverein Biel are also on the Museum's premises"
"The three towers on the Schlossberg hill (591m) overlook the Alsace plain and date from 11th to 13th centuries. The middle tower, the Wahlenbourg, is the oldest. The Dagsbourg o the north and the Weckmund to the south were built in the 13th century.
“When I was small, I thought the Château and the Collégiale were the same thing. They were so close, they seemed to be interlinked. Was it a church or a château? Most of all, it was the wonderful playground of my childhood! The years passed but the two emblematic monuments remain inseparable.
The characteristic silhouette of the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle marks the Alsatian landscape for nearly 900 years. Visible from afar, the imposing fortress nestled at an altitude of 757 meters in the heart of the Vosges forest, dominates the wine trail that winds at its feet and offers a grandiose panorama of the plain of Alsace, the valleys and the balloons of the Vosges, the Black Forest, and on a clear day, the Alps .
The Castello Visconteo served as the seat of the Visconti Dukes of Milan from 1513 to 1798. It is now an archaeological museum, housing Locarnese artefacts from the late Bronze Age to the High Middle Ages.
The Zumsteinhaus will be designed and designed as Exhibit No. 1 of the museum so that, after successful renovation, it can reveal much about its history, its first inhabitants and its use at that time.
A prodigy of the gigantesque and the delicate," as Victor Hugo claimed. Strasbourg Cathedral (1015-1439) is an absolute masterpiece of Gothic art. The 142 m high spire looks incredibly lightweight and made the Cathedral the highest edifice in all Christianity until the 19th century.
Founded in 1979, the European Parliament has been home to 785 Euro MPs representing the 27 countries of the European Union since 1 January 2008. Here, they vote on legislation concerning the environment, labour, equality etc. The sittings are held 4 days a month in Strasbourg. The building of the European Parliament called "Louise-Weiss" after the oldest member who gave the opening speech at the 1st session of the Parliament.
The construction of Tourbillon Castle dates back to the very start of the 14th Century. However, the hill on which it is located had been used since prehistoric times as a defensive vantage point in battles. Made from earth and wood, the primitive defences erected there were temporary structures, which have long since vanished without trace.
A monumental and natural site crowned by a well-preserved church. 50'000 years of history presented in the labyrinthine spaces of a restored medieval castle at the heart of the Valais. A collection of unique objects that make a second visit worthwhile.
The construction of the castles goes to the 12.-13. century back. Her name refers to the episcopal officials Meier and Viztum, who originally resided here. From the late 14th century, Majorie Castle belonged to the prince-bishop.
"Captivated by the different aspects of absinthe (its flavour, its opal colour, its rich history, ...) I decided to explore the Absinthe Trail to discover the famous beverage's secrets. First stop: the Absinthe house, recently inaugurated in Môtiers, a small and charming village in Val-de-Travers.
Step into Baden-Baden’s Kurhaus and marvel at its unique Belle Epoch styled elegance. Whether it’s a concert, a casino visit, a midnight dinner or a star-studded ball, the Kurhaus represents Baden-Baden’s glittering center stage.