Tag Archives: middle ages

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.

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Sion
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Sion

Valère Basilica 11th-13th century

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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.

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Samuel the explorer
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Entrance to Valère
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View from the Valère
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View from the Valère
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View from the Valère
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The view on Sion
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View on the Château de Tourbillon
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Basilica inside, Valère
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Basilica inside, Valère
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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.

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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.

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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

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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! 

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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.

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View on the Valère
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Samuel…😎
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Yana…😎
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View from the Tourbillon
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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!

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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!

 

 

 

 

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The five things about Castle Church of Spiez (Schlosskirche)

If locals say the truth, then we are looking at the most beautiful bay in Europe (we also heard “in the World”)…Anyway, Spiez is really beautiful! Turquoise water in the lake, stunning Alps view and middle ages castle with its church. About the castle, we already posted here.

Если верить местным, то сейчас мы смотрим на самую красивую бухту Европы ( мы даже слышали, что мира). Но это не важно, Шпиц действительно красив! Бирюзовая вода озера, живописная панорама Альп и средневековый замок с его церковью. Про замок внутри мы уже писали ( пост пока не переведен, напишите пожалуйста в комментариях если хотите перевод наших предыдущих постов). Ссылка на пост здесь.

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Bay in Spiez

The five things about the Castle Church of Spiez /// 5 фактов о церкви в Шпиц

1. Castle Church of Spiez or Schlosskirche is one of the oldest churches in region Bern. It calls 1000 years old church. There are few of them around the lake of Thun. You have also one in Einigen, and one in Thun. The first date about the church in Spiez is 762 AD. It was built with help of Irish missioners which came to the region of Thun in 500 AD. This church which we can see today is probably built around 900-1000 AD.

Церковь замка в Шпиц одна из самых старинных в регионе Берна. Ее так же называют тысячелетней церковью. Их несколько вокруг Тунского озера. Поблизости такие церкви можно найти в Айниген и Тун. Первое упоминание о церкви в Шпиц датируется 762 г.н.э. Она была построена с помощью ирландских миссионеров, которые пришли в регион Тунского озера в 500 г.н.э. Церковь, которую мы видим сегодня построили примерно в 900 – 1000 годах.

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Castle Church of Spiez. View from the Castle.

2.An interesting part of the church is a tower. Which is probably even older than the church. But the spire is added just in 1628.

Интересной частью церкви является башня, которая по сведениям старше чем сама сегодняшняя церковь. Шпиль был добавлен в 1628 году.

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Church Tower

3.Inside you can see old frescoes, which are quite faded, but still interesting. They take you to the early middle ages…

Внутри можно увидеть старые, выцветшие фрески. Они переносят нас в начало средних веков…

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Early Medieval Fresco
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Early Medieval Fresco
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Early Medieval Fresco Reconstruction

4.In the church is a coffin of Sir Albrecht von Erlach. Erlach was one of the main family which was based in the Castle of Spiez. Other families were Strättligen and Bubenberg.

Внутри церкви захоронен хэрр Альбрехт фон Эрлах. Представитель одной из трех главных династий, живших в замке. Остальные две династии это – Штрэттлиген и Бубенберг.

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5.The church is still active and it is a beloved place for weddings.

Церковь действует и по сей день. Это любимое место молодоженов для венчания.

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Church is prepared for a wedding!

P.S.

To visit the church you don’t have to pay. The only thing – please, be quiet…When we visited this place it was an English speaking family inside as well. We don’t know it was American or Australian people, maybe other nationality, but they were so disrespectful to other people inside the church and actually to a holy place as well. They were very loud speaking, screaming and laughing, so we had to go out and wait until they will disappear…Please, have a respect for other people, even if you do not believe in God and Christian churches…Thank you.

Посмотреть церковь можно совершенно бесплатно. Только пожалуйста, будьте тихо…Когда мы были внутри, кроме нас там оказалась одна английско-говорящая семья. Они настолько неуважительно себя вели : орали, смеялись, очень громко говорили. Это проявление неуважения не только к другим людям, но и к святой церкви в целом. Нам пришлось выйти и подождать, пока эта дикая семейка не покинет это прекрасное место… Пожалуйста, даже если вы не верите в Бога или Церковь, постарайтесь хотя бы не мешать людям, которые находятся рядом с вами…Спасибо.

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Old Bischof chair
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Ambo
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Font
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Blazonry

 

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Tombstone

 

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The inscription

 

 

 

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.


 

St. Maurice. It’s not St. Moritz

Hello, guys!

Today we will share with you our rememberings from Valais trip to St. Maurice. Yes, the name is very similar to St. Moritz, but it’s totally another place. St. Maurice is in canton Valais, from the side of Geneva lake. It is like one of the first towns when you come from canton Vaud to Valais.

We went there because we have it on our map and because there is a castle! We were so excited about to visit this castle! But…we were a bit disappointed, because:

  1. The Castle was closed in February…
  2. This castle has a connection with The Second World War. What we are not so interested about. ( When the castle is open, you can visit an art exhibition inside.)
  3. Was cold………..

So, after our hike around the castle, we went to the village. We saw the tower, which looked like from medieval times. We went inside and then magic happened…First at all the door opened itself! We were very surprised. Then, inside we saw that you can have a journey around the church. We bought a ticket and we got what we wanted. We came into the medieval world. Museum was rich in expositions from gold and hallows. Then the way brought us to ruins like 1000 old church. Was really interesting and interactive!

From pictures what we have from this place is just one selfie 😀 So, sorry, guys…Everything another was on Snapchat…

Our advice – St. Maurice is a place to visit! No questions! Also in this town, you have very famous international college!

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Bern Minster – must see place in capital city of Switzerland

Today we will visit the capital city of Switzerland – Bern. Bern has his own special spirit. By day is a very cute city with an incredible old town. By night it shows a bit darker side – night clubs, young people which are trying to be like young people from Berlin – urban style, drinking and clubbing, clubbing, clubbing. Personally, our female part of this blog doesn’t like to be in Bern by night. But by day – yes, yes and yes again!

From lots of interesting things to do in this beautiful city, we choose the highlight. We are going to visit huge Swiss Reformed Cathedral in a centrum of the old city of Bern. The highest Cathedral in Switzerland ( bell tower is 100,6 m high)!   Its construction started in 1421. Cathedral is in Gothic style. UNESCO heritage object.

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Everyone is welcome to visit this incredible religious building. You can come inside through amazing and rich entrance. As soon you are inside, very calm and holy atmosphere envelops you…You feel like you are in medieval times.

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This is just a beginning of an adventure! You can go up to tower just for 5 CHF for an adult! But! Be ready to overcome 312 steps, before you will see stunning Bern City and the Bernese Alps panorama…

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Here we go…:

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Info

You can visit tower every day!

Open hours during the week:

  • Monday – Friday 12:00 – 15-30* in winter and 12:00 – 16:30 in summer
  • Saturday 10:00 – 16:30* in winter and summer
  • Sunday 11:30-15:30* in winter and 11:30-16:30* in summer

The place where the time stopped. Suzdal, Russia

We went to Russia in May. It was the best time to visit this country – beautiful warm weather and a lot of juicy green colors. Our destination was Ivanovo city, where our Russian part of the family lives. Of course, we spend a lot of time in this city, but we were traveling around as well!

Samuel was the first time in Russia, and he was very excited! Everything for him was new. Imagine, how the Swiss Perfectionist looks at totally unperfect Russia. But he was in love. At the beginning, he even wanted to move here, but at the end, he changed his mind 😀

OK, let’s start our trip and our first place to visit was Suzdal.

Info

Food

The most famous in Suzdal is Medovukha. This is a honey based an alcoholic drink. Exist 124 sorts of it! You have from 5% – 16%. What is interesting, that this drink exists from XIV century, but very popular became in  XX century!

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From lots of restaurants, we choose one with a name ” Zolotoy ruchey”. It was not bad, but also not so amazing. Kitchen, of course, is Russian. We ordered some fish, a grilled meat, and a cream soup from Porcini mushrooms. For two persons we paid less than 50 euro.

A design of the restaurant was quite interesting. Russian spirit is everywhere. You can see the bears and other animals ( ofc they are not alive anymore). The restaurant is very big and ready for a lot of guests. Also, you have a hotel in the same building and it is very close to main attractions of Suzdal.

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Historical monuments

Suzdal is the only city-museum in Russia. When you are walking down the streets you feel like you are in medieval times…You can also rent a carriage with the horse in a special Russian tack. We did not. Horses there look quite tired and kind of pure, so we just gave them a pat and walked with the own feets.

Our first stop was a beautiful church – Cathedral of the Nativity

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This church made us say “wow”. The blue domes with the stars as a symbol of the Sky. On the top of the domes are orthodox crosses, as a symbol of the Jesus Christus Church. What is interesting that Russian churches have an odd number of domes. One symbolizes the only head of all churches – Jesus Christus. Three – The Holy Trinity. Five – Jesus Christus and four evangelicals. Seven domes remind us about seven mysteries of Church. Thirteen – Jesus Christus and twelve apostles.

Why Russian church has domes in form of the onion?

This is a symbol of national faith which tend to the sky as a flame on the candle.

Cathedral of the Nativity was built in 12 century. After many rebuildings and many times burning the church still has a spiritual function and a museum inside. Unfortunately, we were not inside and we missed a lot!

Monastery of Saint Euthymius

This place is one of the darkest sides of Suzdal. This huge monastery was not just a holy place. Long time it was a prison. In times of Ekaterina II in 1776, it was a place for a “crazy prisoners”. Many of them died in this unapproachable tower.

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Till 1947 the walls of this place were hiding prisoners. At the end, it was a prison for children. Just in 1968 Monastery of St Euthymius became a museum.

The Convent of the Intercession

Grounded in 1364. In 16 century it became a place of confinement for aristocratic females. In 16-17 centuries the Convent was the biggest in Russia. Here died many royal wives. Most of them came here forcibly.

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Beautiful, is it?

P.S.

We had just one evening in this incredible city and unfortunately did not go inside of museums and monasteries. But even this what we saw was enough to be admired! Would you imagine to go to Suzdal ones?

 

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…

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

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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.

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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 :

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

See you next time!