Category Archives: Castles

Castles of Sion, Wallis

Sion

Sion is a capital city of Canton Wallis (Valais), Switzerland. It has a huge history which begins in prehistoric times. The oldest trace of the human settlement comes from 6200 BC during the late Mesolithic (Wikipedia*). Sion has beautiful medieval city and four castles. We have visited just two of them.

Сьон – столица кантона Валлис, Швейцария. У этого места огромнейшая история, которая уходит в аж эпоху Мезолита! Первое упоминание о проживании здесь людей относится к 6200 г. до н.э.! В Сьоне замечательный старый город и четыре замка. Мы отправились в два из них.

fullsizeoutput_7ac
Sion
fullsizeoutput_7ad
Sion

Valère Basilica 11th-13th century

fullsizeoutput_7b3

Valère Basilica is a fortified church situated on the rock over the city of Sion, Canton Wallis. Is one of the most incredible buildings in all Switzerland. Until our days is the riches fortified Bishop residence in the country. Valère is Swiss heritage site of national significance. The basilica was built in 1200-1300 years.

Базилика Вэлер – это церковь-крепость, возведенная на скале над городом Сьон, кантон Валлис. Это одна из самых удивительных базилик в Швейцарии. Так же по сей день она является самой фортификационной епископской резиденцией страны. Вэлер входит в список Швейцарского наследия национального значения. Сооружение возведено в 1200 – 1300 годах.

fullsizeoutput_7b0
Samuel the explorer
IMG_6096
Entrance to Valère
fullsizeoutput_7b1
View from the Valère
fullsizeoutput_7b2
View from the Valère
fullsizeoutput_7b5
View from the Valère
fullsizeoutput_7ba
The view on Sion
fullsizeoutput_7b4
View on the Château de Tourbillon
fullsizeoutput_7bf
Basilica inside, Valère
fullsizeoutput_7bc
Basilica inside, Valère
fullsizeoutput_7bb
Basilica inside, Valère

Some historical facts:

After the last king of Burgundy, Rudolph III gave the country of Valais to Bishop Hugo (998-1017), princes Bishops became the most powerful spiritual and social nobles in the Upper Rhone Valey. Sion became the political and religious centre of the region. That’s why the Cathedral had two functions and became more and more fortified to have a function not just as a church, but also as a protective building.

Valère was always “upgraded”. First buildings were in Romanesque style, later came gothic accents and the rest (The current choir stalls) were added in the middle of the 17-th century.

После того, как последний король Бургундии, Рудольф III передал правление страной Валлис в руки епископу Уго (998/1017), принцы-епископы стали самыми могущественными духовными и социальными дворянами в Верхней долине Роны. Сьон стал главным политическим и религиозным центром региона. Поэтому базилика имела сразу две функции – политическое и духовное. Ее стали больше и больше укреплять и она превратилась в солидную крепость. Вэлер постоянно обновляли. В базилике смешаны романский и готический стили. Нынешний хор был достроен в середине 17 века.

fullsizeoutput_7b9
Medieval atmosphere

Our opinion

Definitely, a place to visit! Beautiful, romantic and of course will be the point for all middle times lovers. Stunning views guaranteed. It is not that big. Don’t need a lot of time but comfortable shoes – must have! Because you have to hike up to this amazing place. Not long, but still uphill and downhill. Don’t forget to take water with you and some snacks.

Наше мнение – базилику однозначно стоит посетить! Это красивое, романтичное место и конечно, здесь отлично проведут время любители средневековья. Здесь не обязательно проводить целый день, но стоит удобно обуться. Ведь сюда нужно подняться, а потом спуститься под довольно неудобным для модной обуви углом. Не забудьте взять с собой воду и что-нибудь перекусить.

fullsizeoutput_7b6
Yana in a romantic mood. Valère

Opening hours:

Время работы:

June/Июнь – September/Сентябрь
Monday/Понедельник – Sunday/Воскресенье
10.00 – 18.00

October/Октябрь – May/Май
Tuesday/Вторник – Sunday/Воскресенье
10.00 – 17.00

Entrance is free, for guided tours, you have to pay 4 CHF as an adult, and CHF 2.- children, students, seniors, soldiers.

Вход бесплатный. За гида придется заплатить 4 CHF взрослым, 2 CHF детям.

More information on this/ Больше информации на website

Tourbillon Castle 13th century

fullsizeoutput_7ae

After Valère you can walk to the Tourbillon castle. It is also a few minutes of hiking but it worth it. From the castle left not so much, so it is more ruins. We were in February, so to come inside we couldn’t. Castle closed from the middle of November until the middle of March. But still, you can visit it for free and walk around the beautiful medieval building. Be careful! It can be dangerous, so if you are with kids, keep them close. Rock is very high and one part of the castle is finishing exactly at the end of it!

После того, как мы посмотрели базилику, мы отправились на соседнюю скалу – к замку Турбийон. Туда тоже предстоит взобраться, в чем поможет удобная обувь. От замка осталось немного, это скорее руины. Мы были в Феврале, поэтому вход на территорию замка был закрыт. Но это не испортило нам вечера. Вокруг замка можно так же погулять, организовать пикник или проводить закат (как сделали мы). Внимание! Если вы с детьми – будьте очень осторожны. Замок построен над обрывом и там может быть очень опасно! Когда заканчивается стена, заканчивается и скала. Мы чуть не ступили в бездну! 

Tourbillon
Dangerous part!

Some historical facts:

Castle was built in 1290 – 1308 years by the Bishop of Sion as his residence. After a while, it became just summer residence of followed Bishops and a symbol of spiritual and social power. A big part of the castle was destroyed during the Raaron affair in 1417. After, it was rebuilt in 1440 – 1450. Then the castle was destroyed in a fire in 1788. Just in 1966-1969, it was restored and again in 1993-1996. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.

Замок был построен в 1290-1380 г, как резиденция епископа из Сьона. Он олицетворял духовную и социальную власть. Спустя время, замок стал лишь летней резиденцией. Большая часть Турбийона была разрушена в ходе нашествия Раарона в 1417 году. После, замок восстановили в 1440-1450 годах. Следующая катастрофа произошла в 1788, тогда Турбийон был разрушен из-за огромного пожара. Только в 1966-1969 годах замок частично восстановили. Реставрации проводились и в 1993-1996 годах. Турбийон включен в список Швейцарского наследия национального значения.

fullsizeoutput_7c3
View on the Valère
fullsizeoutput_7c4
Samuel…😎
fullsizeoutput_7c5
Yana…😎
fullsizeoutput_7c7
View from the Tourbillon
fullsizeoutput_7c6
View from the Tourbillon

Our opinion:

Great place to visit. Especially in not a season time when there are not so many people. We were here in the evening and watched the sunset. So romantic place for the picnic. Surely, in Summer is super hot (like in all Wallis), but spring and autumn are definitely the perfect time to spend some great moments around the castle.

Замечательное место. Шикарный вид на базилику Вэлер и на долину Валлис. Мы не застали большое количество туристов. Советуем посетить это место весной либо осенью, т.к. лето в кантоне Валлис довольно жаркое. Само собой, если вам не мешает жаркая погода, мы отговаривать не станем! Главное, побольше водички!

fullsizeoutput_7c9

Opening hours: 

Mid-March/середина Марта – April/Апрель
October/Октябрь – Mid-November/середина Ноября
Monday/Понедельник – Sunday/Воскресенье
11.00 – 17.00

May/Май – September/Сентябрь
Monday/Понедельник – Sunday/Воскресенье
10.00 – 18.00

Mid-November/середина Ноября – Mid-March/середина Марта
closed/закрыто

Entrance is free / Вход бесплатный

 

Did you like it? Any suggestions or maybe you would like to know more? Write us a comment! We will be grateful to know your opinion!

Как вам такое место? Вы любите средневековье? Что вы бы хотели узнать о Швейцарии? Может быть конкретное место или конкретная тема? Напишите нам в комментариях! Мы будем раду ответить вам на все вопросы!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Top 3 things to do in Martigny, SUI

Hello, friends! Long time we did not see us, now we are back! Let us tell you about one of our favorite spots in Switzerland – Martigny. We visited this town many times and now we would love to share with you Top 3 thing to do at this great place.

Small touch of history

Martigny is a small town in French Part of a canton Valais. But Martigny is a  very good place to spend a day, maybe two or even your holidays. It is a touristic-friendly area, but they don’t like to speak English…Also in Museums sometimes is a problem with information.


Because of its geographical position already ancient people were trying to control Martigny. History of this place is counted with 2000 years. Celtic, Ancient Rome, Medieval, Napoleon, and Modern times – everything in one place. Everything is mostly in art.

Ancient Rome 

Ancient Rome Times remind us an Amphitheater. This historical spot was built in 47 year! It has space for 5000 people! Used for gladiator games. In our times – for concerts and special events. This place you can visit for free 24/7/365.

Museum of St.Bernard

100 meters away from “Colosseo” you are at the very special museum – museum of legendar dogs breed. Sain Bernards. These dogs were angels of dangerous mountain passes. They saved lives of many people! Those, who could not walk, or was freezing in the night under the snow and wind, were saved by this incredible dogs. Now St.Bernards are used as therapy dogs for handicap and old people. Don’t be surprised to see them a bit depressed inside of the cages. We felt a bit sorry for them…


You can visit museum from 10:00 – 18:00

Prices:

Adults: CHF 12.-

Senior citizens (from 60 years old): CHF 10.-

Children over the age of 8 / students (up to the age of 24): CHF 7.-

Families (parents + children/over the age of 8): CHF 25.-

And of course…Castle!

La Batiaz – what a beautiful name! This is a tower which placed on the top of the rock. Was built in 1260 year! We were never inside, but how we know there are a lot of medieval and art events up there, also somehow you can eat inside the castle in Taverne for 80 chf. But even if you are not going inside the castle, you can enjoy a beautiful view of mountains, Valais valley and Martigny itself.


 

Romantic Romont

Today we will visit Romont. It is in canton Fribourg. This is a small medieval city which is built on the hill. The view from here is stunning…And the atmosphere is so special…Here is so quiet and peaceful…


We had no chance to visit Swiss museum of stained glass, and it is quite sad. But next time we will do it for sure! 


Romont has an old castle, church, beautiful medieval old city and lots of cute restaurants. We really enjoyed our walk in sunset.



In our opinion it is a great place to spend a day or even more! 
See you soon! Byeee


 

 

 

Gruyères. A wonderful castle at the foot of the Alps.

Castle and medieval town in Gruyeres is a great historical and cultural place. We think this is a place for everyone, not just historical lovers. Here you can see :

Aliens


Incredible HRGiger museum !

Buddhists


At beautiful Tibet Museum

And of course,

Gorgeous historical museum in castle.


Very romantic…


And this stunning view…


Our advice 

Gruyeres is definitely a place to visit in Switzerland!

Castle in Spiez. Great place!

We were so many times in Spiez and around this castle and we never went in! Omg…it’s such a shame because the museum and the little church are stunning inside…

IMG_4371.jpg

Of course, the view from the tower takes your breath away…

IMG_4384.jpg

But the castle is so rich in history! There you can visit different ages interiors, learn about the owners and history of german part of Switzerland which begins in Middle Ages.

img_4334img_4336img_4342

And what we really loved – is entertainment! You can wear medieval clothes, try to be a knight, mount a wooden horse and play like you are in the tournament.

Ok, now some interiors:

The castle :

The church :

img_4372img_4373

Did you like it? Would you visit this place if you are in Switzerland?

See you next time!

Top 5 things to do in Meiringen

The very first time we crossed this village with the car on our trip to Ticino. Then we took the Susten pass to get from German-speaking part of Switzerland to the Italian one. We even did not stop in Meiringen, because from the car it was looked like there is nothing to do in here.

Already then  Samuel told me that this village is somehow connected to Sherlock Holmes. I am not a big fan of detectives, so for me, it was not so attractive to go deeper to the topic. Samuel as well was not so interested in to discover more. So we just drove through and were more excited to see the lake of Brienz (which is very close).

And we were wrong! There are so many incredible things to see! Here are our top 5 :

1. Aare Gorge

This was very emotional to see the huge force of nature!

Already more than 125 years this place is one of the main touristic attractions in Berner Oberland. One of the main and actually the longest river in Switzerland  – 295 km. Begins on the Aarglacier and flows into the huge river Rhine. The capital city of Switzerland – Bern is built on the coasts of Aare.

And then you see how the ice cold water polish the rocks thousands and thousands of years. In this place, you feel so special…How wild and strong the Aare is and how talented artist is this river.

Opening hours: click here

Prices: click here

Sorry for the quality of the photo, scanned from printed archives. For more information google this place!

img_4535

2. St. Michaels Church

This cute place is a national importance. If you love history same as we do – this is a “must see” place. Underground you can see an old ruined church from 13 century. And in the main hall, you can find a peace with praying or be staring at many historical marks and arts. More about this place we wrote in this post .

3.  Resti castle ruins

We love castles! And in Meiringen we found one. This is a famous knight Resti castle ruins. If you know not so much about the history of Switzerland, then imagine – it was controlling base of the main in Middle Times business and political ways. These ways were mountain passes. Meiringen is the point where 5 important passes begin: Grimsel, Joch Pass, Grosse Scheidegg, Susten and Brünig Pass. So, Resti was the one who kept care about surrounding. More about this place you can read here.

img_4039-1

4. Haslimuseum

The cutest museum we were seen ever. So many interesting things in one place. You don’t have to stay here all day long to see everything. For us was enough to spend inside like 1 h. History of Haslital, animals, crystals, working and climbing instruments, art and many other things to see. More information here.

thumb_img_3993_1024

5.Hiking to the Trift Glacier.

Just 15 minutes with the car away from Meiringen and you are on the Skilift station in Gadmen. Here you start your journey to the high mountains. This is a hiking heaven…For the beginners and families is a perfect place as well. You walk around 2 hours and you come to the glacier viewpoint.

Here is also a hanging bridge…The longest hanging bridge in Swiss Alps. It is like 170 meters (560 ft) long at a height of 100 meters (330 ft). When we were walking on this bridge Samuel was laughing how my ( Yana’s) heart almost jumped out because of the fear. This is quite a scary place, especially when it start to move when someone else is walking through. For sure this bridge is not for human beings with acrophobia 😅. Anyway, Trift is the place to see and to be once if you are in Meiringen area.

Tickets both ways will cost you:

Adults: 24 CHF

Kids: 10 CHF

Sorry for the quality of the photo, scanned from printed archives. For more information google this place!

img_4536

 

The knight’s castle in Meiringen.

Up on the rock, many hundreds years ago, knight Resti built a castle. The great building still standing on it’s place and inviting a visitors. Totally for free you can enjoy an incredible view on Haslital from the tower. Remember – this is a High Heels Free zone!

History.

Italian workers “Comaccini” started to built the castle in 1250 year. As history says just after 50 years the building was finished. It was the living and “working” place from very famous in Haslital family of Resti. The first knight who used to live in this castle was Peter von Resti. Also the Resti family were a vassals from powerful in this times Habsburgs dynasty. They personally knew the king Leopold I from Austria and the most powerful families from Berner Oberland,  Berner Mittelland and canton Valais. The main reason why the castle was built is the control and protect of the biggest till our days passes over Alps : Grimsel, Joch Pass, Grosse Scheidegg, Susten and Brünig Pass.

img_4039-1

How to get there?

We are traveling mostly with the car. So, from the closest parking is just 10 min of walk.


Feelings.

It was a great experience to see ruins of the castle of Resti. The most what we liked – it’s quiet place. Not much people, around you can eat a picnic , spend some nice moments staring at the view of the village and mountains. You can take a walk in the forest and find another view point. The castle from inside makes you feel like :”How the *** they could live here?”. It is square place and pretty high. How it should be cold in winter on the wind! And how the nature spared the building to be not destroyed till our days.  You can play with imagination and get inspired with interactive informations inside of the building – how the life of Restis looked like.

img_4041img_4023img_4019

Who should and should not see this place?

For sure all the castles lovers and history junkies should see this place during the stay around Meiringen. People who are interested about view points should also try to go the stairs up to the top of the tower. It’s very romantic up there!

I would say that ladies with skirts and high heels better stay around the castle then inside. Because of the lattice stairs. It’s also quite high in there , so better be sure that if you look down once you have no problem with your fears!

img_4035