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Switzerland

Cultural sightseeing in Switzerland. What to visit - museums, temples, castles and palaces

Lausanne view Culture in Switzerland was formed under the influence of neighboring countries - France, Germany, and Italy. The largest museums of the country are located in Zurich, Bern, Geneva, Basel, and Lausanne. Bern is an ancient city. There is the Museum of Natural History, the Historical Museum, the Einstein House Museum, and a huge number of architectural monuments, castles, and towers. Zurich has the Swiss National Museum, the Rietberg Museum, and the Toy Museum.  Geneva can boast the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of Art and History, and the Palace of Nations, where the UN, the IAEA, and UNESCO are based.
Switzerland is one of the most stable and secure countries in the world. It has kept a neutral position in key world disputes for many centuries. …
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Bern is the fifth largest city in Switzerland and one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The old district is fully included in the UNESCO World Heritage List; the place has the largest number of attractions. The Bernese cathedral is the most impressive building in this part of the city. The landmark was built in the 15th century in the Gothic style. Another famous symbol of Bern is Zytglogge, a medieval tower with a clock dating back to the 13th century. There are numerous fountains and ancient churches all around the city. Albert Einstein has lived in Berne for some time. Now, his house is converted into the museum. The museum of the Swiss Alps will appeal to geography lovers. It's worth looking into Tram and Historical museums.
The Swiss National Museum is located in Zurich. The building is constructed in the style of French eclecticism of the Renaissance. That's one of the main attractions of the country. The exposition of the museum tells visitors about the history of Switzerland since the times, when Celts settlements were located on its lands. There are collections of objects of everyday life, items of Gothic culture and the era of knights, collections of faience and porcelain. Other interesting places in Zurich include museums dedicated to dinosaurs, toys, winemaking, spinning wheels, and rabbits. The largest cathedrals of Zurich are Grossmünster and Fraumünster, male and female monasteries. They were founded in the 9-11th centuries. However, the oldest temple is St. Peter's Church; it was founded in the 8th century. All of them are located in Old Zurich, the historical downtown. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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The only museum in Switzerland dedicated to ancient art is in Basel. Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig presents exhibits of ancient Greek, Roman, ancient Egyptian, and Etruscan culture, as well as a collection of antiquities of Peter Ludwig, the largest collector of the 20th century. In addition to it, the Fire Department, the picturesque Botanical Garden of the University, and museums of modern art, caricatures, and anatomy are located in Zurich. Headquarters of the UN and many other public organizations are situated in Geneva, in the Palace of Nations. Tourists will find it interested to visit the Museum of Modern Art, Petit Palais, as well as the Wall of the Reformation, the Large Hadron Collider, and St. Paul's Cathedral.
Lac Grenon There are many castles in Switzerland. The town of Bellinzona has three medieval fortresses, which have perfectly preserved to the present day. Castelgrande was built by the Romans. Montebello was founded in the 13th century, and Sasso-Corbaro Castle was constructed in the 15th century. The complex will be especially amazing for travelers interested in the medieval architecture. Another well-known castle - Chillon - is on the shores of Lake Geneva. That's the landmark of the country and a popular tourist destination. It was constructed in the 12th century and consists of a total of 24 buildings. Inside, there is an exhibition that tells about the history of this unique place. During the tour, you can get acquainted with the special design of the place.
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Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Switzerland

Reference information
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Switzerland
♥   Art museum 'Barbier-Mueller Museum' Geneva. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Beyeler Foundation' Riehen. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts' Lausanne. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Centre Le Corbusier' Zurich. On the map   Photos
♥   Art museum 'Collection Oskar Reinhart Am Römerholz' Winterthur. On the map   Photos
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas in Switzerland
♥   Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Genève, Genève. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame de Genève, Genève. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique de Saint-Maurice, Saint-Maurice. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique Notre-Dame de Valère, Sion. On the map   Photos
♥   Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Glarier, Sion. On the map   Photos
♥   Ancienne cathédrale protestante Notre-Dame, Lausanne. On the map   Photos
♥   Benediktinerkloster St. Johann, Müstair. On the map   Photos
Country maps Maps of Switzerland
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in Switzerland

Top cultural sites of Switzerland: monuments, theaters and churches

Musee Ariana, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» Ariana was the name of collector Gustave Revilliod known in his circles. The museum is named after her according to his will.
» His private collection includes over 5 thousand items. In the late 19th century, the collector exhibited them.
» In the museum, there is a workshop for repairing glass items.
» The Musee Ariana is famous for the collection of glass and ceramic exhibits (there are over 20 thousands of them). Patterns and inscriptions on the glass surface, as well as the unusual shape of exhibits, are very impressive.
» The Musee Ariana is located in the palace with a glass dome, in the cedar park.
» The guide will explain the origin of any exhibit. On display, you can see tea and coffee sets, and dinnerware the Royal Family used. There are also clay items made in the Middle Ages. You can learn how pottery originated and what tools for glass-painting were used.
» You can also see glass toys, porcelain zips and pens, clay amulets, and crystal lamps.
» In the museum, there are 20 separate rooms, each of which displays particular items depending on the epoch.

Musee Rath, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» Different art exhibitions (1826) were organized at the initiative and expense of sisters Henriette and Jeanne-Francoise Rath.
» Today, the Musee Rath has an international status. It is a cultural object and is under the protection of the State. It houses the collection of world-famous pieces of art.
» In the Musee Rath, temporary art and archaeological exhibitions are mostly held.
» The building is located in New Square. It is the only museum that houses the western art collection from ancient times to the present day.
» Two years elapsed between the project stage to the opening. The museum was opened in 1826.
» At one time, the building was rented out to the detainees’ camp of the Committee of the Red Cross.
» The collection of murder weapons and pieces of Egyptian masters is really extraordinary. Here, you can also see the masterpieces of Swiss artists living in different epochs. Individual exhibitions of modern people of art are held here.
» From the outside, it is the rectangular building of gray blocks. Its dome is upheld by 6 round columns decorated with patterned moldings. The staircase leads to the front door.

Museum of Art and History, Geneva

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The collection of the Museum of Art and History contains over 650 thousand rare items. These are paintings, sculptures, musical instruments, and ancient artifacts.
» Not only permanent, but also temporary exhibitions are organized here.
» In the square of 7 000 m2, you can see pieces of art of global significance. There are 500-year-old items, as well as canvases of modern artists.
» The museum fund is replenished thanks to private collections.
» Graphics, books, household items of the bygone era, and old weapons are just some of the exhibits displayed.
» The building matches the collection it houses. The vault of the palace is upheld by classical columns with strict proportions. The pediment of the building is crowned with stone figurines.
» In the period of the Civil War in Spain, the authorities sent all the precious exhibits to the Museum of Geneva.
» Showrooms where you can see Greek flowerpots, ceramic items of Etruscans, pieces of medieval furniture, and ammunition of the 12th century are very impressive.
» Near the museum, there is the restaurant Le Barocco where you can taste dishes of the local cuisine.

Palace of Nations, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The building complex that is 600 m long had been built for 8 years.
» One architect was excluded from the project because he signed the document with improper ink.
» In the Palace, there are the headquarter of the League of Nations, the UN office, and the office of the World Health Organization.
» About a hundred thousand tourists visit it.
» Ceremonial negotiation rooms are also open for visitors. There are canvasses of world-famous artists on the walls.
» 100 tons of paint was used and €10 million was spent to decorate the room ceiling of the total area of 1.5 m2.
» The 1st and 3rd levels intersect along the entire length but other floors don’t.
» There is a symbolic cannon near the Palace. Its barrel is knotted, which is the symbol of peace. Politicians discuss global issues in the building. Every year, over 8 thousand meetings on international issues and almost 600 intergovernmental meetings are held in the Palace.
» There is a picturesque garden around it. One of the buildings is located in the park. This land belonged to an aristocratic family. Upon its order, the authorities must keep the peacock they inherited here. Also, there is a garden pavilion aged over 300 years.

Red Cross Museum, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The collection of the International Red Cross Museum contains exhibits from ancient times to the present day.
» The building is located in the territory of the head office of the namesake organization.
» Collected items, pictures and videos symbolize the role of the Red Cross helping people in post-conflict and post-disaster situations.
» Showrooms are divided into separate sections. One of the rooms presents information about the organization’s activity in all corners of the world.
» The huge interactive globe shows where rescues work today.
» The exhibition is aimed at awakening sympathy for people in trouble and calling on the citizens to contribute modestly to the humanitarian activity.
» The idea of creating the Committee of the Voluntarism Organization was brought to life by the Swiss Henri Dunant in 1863. He was impressed by the human suffering. Volunteers from many countries supported him. As a consequence, the movement has become an international undertaking.
» Now, the number of volunteers is about 100 million. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement received the Nobel Prize for its merits three times.

Russian Church of Geneva, Geneva

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » Such significant events, as the wedding of the Russian artist Vrubel and the famous singer Zabela and the baptism of F. Dostoevsky, took place in the church.
» The cathedral was blessed in 1866.
» ₣280 000 was spent on the building construction.
» Gilded domes and the chapel with a belfry of 5 bells are really impressive. The church was built of white stone from the Swiss Mountains. The ledge has the shape of a notched curve. The upper part is five gilded domes. The building resembles an elongated cross with a semicircular altar. The facade is made of gray marble. Above the front arched doors, you can see pictures of saint dukes and images of Alexander Nevsky and Venerable Sergius of Radonezh.
» The ceiling inside is decorated with the image of Christ in the midst of the sky and golden stars. It is framed with silhouettes of seraphs. The walls are decorated with painted golden crosses in green ovals. Stained glass has the shape of crosses of stars on clouds. You can see praying Christ on the altar. Behind it, there is a staircase to the basement of the church.

St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The cathedral built at the beginning of the 13th century combines many architectural styles but looks like a single unit.
» Its interior features some austerity, modesty and, and strictness.
» Here, you can such unique item, as the rich chair of the French theologian Jean Calvin.
» You can also climb up the tower. The path in one place offers two directions, southern and northern. The northern tower with a high spire has a panoramic view of the city, as the building is located in its center, on the hilltop, 404 m above sea level.
» On the right side, there is a gravestone in honor of French Protestants (1889).
» You should also visit the Archeology Museum behind the cathedral. Here, you can see some fragments of the old building found during the excavations. As the archeologists believe, they date back to the 4th century.
» In December, the three-day historical holiday is celebrated in front of St. Pierre Cathedral. Mummers dance and a huge fire is started at this time.
» When it gets dark, the building is illuminated with spotlights.
» In the cathedral, the Geneva Bible was translated from Latin to English for the first time.

Culture and monuments in popular cities of Switzerland

Zurich
Niederdorf is considered a historic district of the city. In the daytime tourists can walk through the picturesque old streets of the city and see beautiful historic buildings. In the evening the squares of the city often become the location of different performances by street acrobats, musicians and dancers. Music does not stop until late at night, and you can see many people on the streets of Zurich. Fans of nature will be interested in visiting the local zoo and looking at exotic plants that … Read more
Zermatt
A no less interesting "ice" attraction is located on the mountainside of Klein Matterhorn. The unique "Hall of ice" was carved in one of the glaciers – it is not possible to find a similar hall anywhere else in the world. It resembles a huge cave that is completely covered with sparkling ice. The hall looks absolutely mesmerizing from the inside. The Ski Matterhorn Museum remains the most visited cultural center of the resort. Its collection is devoted to the history of mountaineering and … Read more
Geneva
Not far away from this sight is located English park, which is very popular among fans of outdoor recreation. Among the architectural monuments of the city we should definitely mention Palais des Nations, which currently houses the headquarters of the UN. This massive and beautiful architectural complex, which consists of several buildings, is surrounded by a beautiful park. It is a perfect place for walking and relaxing. Fans of excursions should definitely not forget to visit Museum of Lake … Read more
Luzern
Lucerne boasts the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe – the Chapel Bridge. Its construction was finished in 1333, the length of the ancient bridge is 204 meters. Up to the 1993 the bridge was untouched and preserved in its initial state. The upscale construction was from year to year repaired by the local residents. In 1993 a part of the bridge was destroyed by fire, however through the efforts of architects the construction was renovated as soon as possible. Nowadays the bridge is … Read more
Interlaken
There is a large park right in the center of Interlaken. The park hosts one of the most important sights of the city ¬¬¬¬¬¬- the ruins of old Augustinian monastery. It was founded in the first half of the 12th century and worked up to the period of Reformation. After that the monastery was abandoned for a long time. Unfortunately, only a part of the magnificent building has survived till our days. Tourist Museum is also an interesting cultural institution. It offers an exhibition that … Read more
Basel
Fasnacht Brunnen fountain is another prominent architectural landmark of the city. The appearance of the fountain is associated with a truly interesting story. Several centuries ago the main city theater was located on the site of the modern fountain. However, the theater was completely destroyed by fire. One of the local residents decided to use the theatre decorations, which had survived after the fire, as the main building material for the construction of the fountain. Today you can see a … Read more

Switzerland map of cultural and historical sites

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