Switzerland - sacred destinations by Mark Sukhija

  1. Façade of the Kloster EinsiedelnEinsiedeln - According to legend, Saint Meinrad established a hermitage on Mount Etzel and established a shrine to the Virgin Mary which housed a statue of the Virgin. After his death in 861 at the hands to two robbers, others sought to emulate his example and work on the monastry began in 934. Now the Baroque Benedictine Monastry boasts a 150 meter façade and an ornate interior. It is one of the major points of pilgramage in central Europe.

  2. Interior of the Berner Münster Berner Münster - The Berner Münster is the largest gothic structure in Switzerland and the most identifiable feature of the cityscape. While much of the interior decoration was destroyed during the iconoclasm of the Reformation, the carved "Last Judgement" above the central door is a masterpiece of Gothic art and a story which fitted with Protestant thinking of the time.

  3. St Gallen - The Abbey of St Gallen boasts not only an impressive Church but also a significant high Baroque Library - one of the most important in Switzerland and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Founded by an Irish monk, Gallus, the library is elaborately decorated and home to several ancient Gaelic-language scripts. The "Plan of St Gall" depicts the original plans for the Abbey and dating from from the 9th Century is one of the oldest documents in the library.

  4. Interior of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne Jesuitenkirche, Lucerne - The Jesuit Church is one of the most beautiful Baroque / Roccoco churches in Switzerland Aside the Ruess river in central Lucerne , the Jesuit Church is beautifully set with a façade including wonderful onion domes. The interior is a beautiful expression of "unified space" theory with side chapels and a dominating high alter in marble stucco.

  5. Basler Münster - One of the most important Romanesque-style buildings in Switzerland, the Basler Münster is one of the most substantial historic buildings in Basel city. Built in the Romanesque style, the Basel Münster is one of the most important of its period in Switzerland. The St Gallus Door is one of the most important pieces of Romanesque scultpure in Switzerland and several statues decorate the south facing façade including one of St George slaying the dragon.

  6. Solothurn Cathedral - Like the Old Town, the Solothurner Cathedral is firmly in the Baroque style. As the French Amabasadors to Switzerland were stationed in Schaffhausen the Reformation as the Canton remained Catholic, the Cathedral, like the town, is clearly influenced by the French style of Baroque. A distinctive element on the Schaffhausen skyline, the 18th Century Cathedral is one of the most important buildings in the pure Baroque style in Switzerland

  7. Grossmünster - The distinctive Romanesque towers of Grossmünster are closely associated with, and symbolise, Zürich Founded by Charlemagne where, according to legend, the martyred Roman legionaries Felix and Regula are buried. The Reformation in Switzerland started in Zürich with the Einsiedeln-educated Zwingli preaching in Grossmünster

  8. Lausanne Cathedral - Although Lausanne directly borders Lake Geneva, Lausanne Cathedral is 500 feet above the Lake level and dominates a large portion of the citys skyline. Although construction started in 1175 and consecrated in 1275, the Gothic Cathedral was never completed. It remains the only Cathedral in Europe which still sports a regular night watchman who, at each hour between 10pm and 2am, calls "This is the nightwatch; the hour has struck" in four directions. This has been known to startle romantic couples and drunks rambling home in the vicinity. Lausanne Cathedral is regarded as one of the finest, if not the finest, Gothic construction in Switzerland.

  9. Exterior of the Collegial Church in NeuchâtelNeuchâtel Collegial Church - Appropriately for "toytown made out of butter," the Neuchâtel Collegial Church is made from local yellow-coloured sandstone. With construction commencing in 1185, it was strongly influenced by Lausanne Cathedral which was being constructed at the same time and by Basler Münster. A statue of Guillaum Farel brandishing the scriptures dominates a small open space in front of the Cathedral. The Collegial Church is significant in that it shows the transition from the Romanesque period in the Apse to the Gothic period in the bulk of the nave. Close by remains of medieval walls are clearly visible.

Related Posts

Einsiedeln - Baroque façade of the Kloster Einsiedeln Façade of the Kloster Einsiedeln in Canton Schwyz, Switzerland
Rapperswil - Hamburg Blues Band at 2010 Blues n Jazz Festival The Hamburg Blues Band at the Hauptplatz at the 2010 Rapperswil Blues n Jazz Festival
Rapperswil - Manfred Mann Earth Band at 2010 Blues n Jazz Festival The Manfred Mann Earth Band playing Fischmarktplatz at the 2010 Rapperswil Blues n Jazz Festival
Rapperswil - Manfred Mann Earth Band at the 2010 Blues n Jazz Festival Manfred Mann Earth Band plays Fischmarketplatz at the 2010 Rapperswil Blues n Jazz Festival
Rapperswil - Manfred Mann plays keyboards at the 2010 Rapperswil Blues n Jazz Festival Manfred Mann playing keyboards with the Manfred Mann Earth Band in Fischmarktplatz at the 2010 Rapperswil Blues n Jazz Festival
Rapperswil - Sunset at the 2010 Blues n Jazz Festival Pictures from the 2010 Blues n Jazz Festival in Rapperswil
Rapperswil - Sweet Soul Music Revue at the 2010 Blues n Jazz Festival Sweet Soul Music Revue play Fischmarktplatz at the 2010 Rapperswil Blues n Jazz Festival
2010 Blues n Jazz in Rapperswil - a few pictures Pictures from the 2010 Blues n Jazz Festival in Rapperswil


Further reading

Zürich - recommended hotels - Recommended places to stay in and around Zürich city

Basel Fasnacht - display of Fasnacht lanterns - Lanterns of Basler Fasnacht being displayed in Münsterplatz

Zürich - Shopping in the Niederdorf - Shopping in the old Niederdorf district of Zürich

Switzerland - places not to miss - Sixteen places not to miss around Switzerland

Zürich Niederdorf - recommended restaurants, pubs and bars - Recommended restaurants, pubs and bars in Zürich's Niederdorf area

Zürich's 11 best restaurants - The 11 best restaurants around Zürich city

Berne - recommended restaurants - Recommended places to eat and drink in the Swiss capital city Berne

Zürich - recommended pubs and bars - Personally selected and recommended pubs and bars from around Zürich

Zürich - 9 great things to do - 9 great things to do when visiting Zürich, Switzerland

Zürich - a brief history of Fraumünster - A brief history of the elegant Fraumünster church in Zürich

Basel Tourismus - Official website of Basel City Tourism

Bern Tourism - Official website of Bern Tourism

Lausanne Tourisme - Official website of Lausanne Tourism

Lucerne Tourism - Official website of the Lucerne Tourism Office

Neuchâtel Tourism - Official website of Neuchâtel Tourism

Solothurn Tourism - Official website of Solothurn Tourism

St Gallen Bodensee Tourismus - Official website of the St Gallen Bodensee Tourist Board

Zurich Tourism - Official website of Zurich Tourism Board

Key facts

Name: Basler Münster
Rittergasse 3, CH-4051 Basel
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Name: Berner Münster
Munsterplatz 1, CH-8000 Berne
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Name: Collegial Church
Rue de la Collegiale 3, CH-2000 Neuchatel
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Name: Grossmünster
Grossmünsterplatz, Zürich
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Name: Jesuit Church
Bahnhofstrasse 11, CH-6003 Lucerne
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Name: Kloster Einsiedeln
Kloster Einsiedeln, Einsiedeln
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Name: Lausanne Cathedral
Place de la Cathedrale, Lausanne
Name: Solothurn Cathedral
St. Ursenkathedrale, 4500 Solothurn
Name: St Gallen Abbey
Klosterhof, CH-9004 St Gallen
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About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook