From fishing village to lively town – Stein am Rhein, Switzerland
Do you know which town lays at the spot where Lake Constance becomes a Rhine River again? It is Stein am Rhein in Switzerland. This charming small town hides beautiful architecture in its heart. Once you get here, your neck will start to hurt as you will be looking up during the most of your tour. Do you want to know why? Keep reading, and we will explain everything.
However, before we dive in into medieval times and Stein am Rhein’s artistic culture there are a few things you should know. The total area of this town is only 5.76 km2, which means it is best that you leave your car in a parking lot on the west edge of the old town and get around the city by walking.
Getting to Stein am Rhein is not complicated at all – you can take the train from Zurich, bus from Radolfzell, a seasonal boat if come at the right time, and you can even come by your bike from some of the closer towns, like Schaffhausen, Radolfzell or Konstanz. If you need any information about this beautiful place, you can visit the tourist office, which is located at Oberstadt 3. They will be glad to answer all of your questions.
Now, that you have all of the information you need to get here, we can talk about sightseeing and enter the Stein am Rhein trough their enchanting city gates together.
Stein am Rhein’s history
Stein is Rhein was just another small fishing village until 1007 when Emperor Henry II decided to move St. George's Abbey from its original location on the Hohentwiel in Singen to this town. Henry II gave the abbots extensive rights over Stein am Rhein and its trade. This turned out to be a great move, as they developed the town commercially and made it flourish by the 15th century.
Monastery of St. Georgen is today one of the best-preserved Medieval monastery complexes in Europe. But what really intrigues the tourists are Stein am Rhein’s old town buildings decorated with frescoes. This is the reason why the town received the Wakker Prize for the preservation of its architectural heritage in 1972. These famous old buildings with painted facades are located on the Rathausplatz – the square of the City Hall.
The whole Old Town looks like a child drew it from its imagination. Every house is a story for itself. Architectural structures are different, colors and the tales portrayed by the murals vary, but still, this beautiful chaos manages to create the harmony. You have to admit; the whole village exudes artistic atmosphere. These beautiful frescoes will be above your head, which is the main reason for consequential neck-ache.
Is there anything worth visiting beside Rathausplatz?
Without any doubt, there is. First, you should climb up the hill and visit the Hohenklingen Castle. This magnificent building has been towering above lovely Stein am Rhein since 1225. Once you get there, you will have a gorgeous view of the city. The best spot to take a few photos is from the castle’s restaurant.
If you want to take a journey back to the past and see how respected families lived in 1850, the Lindwurm Museum is the best place to do that. The exhibition depicts 19th century bourgeois and agricultural life along with their holiday and excursion destinations. This visit can be fun for the whole family.
Heartfelt advice from our girls
If you’ve been watching our videos carefully, you might have noticed that we eat ice cream wherever we go. So, I think it is safe to say that our girls are professional ice cream lovers and they have one bonus recommendation for you. You won’t find this information anywhere else on the internet, so make sure to remember it.
Don’t forget to try Stein am Rhein’s ice cream if you find yourself here; it is surprisingly good and much more affordable than the ones we ate in other parts of Switzerland. Lower price with no actual difference in quality. So, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth like us, Stein am Rhein is a place where your taste buds and your tummy will be celebrating.
The more you explore this historic town on the Rhine River, the more amazed you will be. So, save some money, buy your ticket and come here. You can watch a short preview of the town in our YouTube tour, and check the photos on our Instagram page.
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