We were lucky to have a couple of sunny and unusually warm days. I didn’t plan any trips for the next couple of weeks as I’ve been working on a new exciting project that I would like to launch in May, and therefore I try to focus and invest all my energy into it. However, I still find some time to go outside and enjoy the sun. I did enjoy it to be precise as it’s been raining again for the last two days. But the weekend was great, and we went for a walk in Stein am Rhein.
Stein am Rhein is about 20 minutes drive from the place where we live. We come here almost every month as it’s a very special place. It’s situated on the Grand tour of Switzerland which is the most popular route across the country. It is packed with incredible sights and you will discover the most beautiful places in Switzerland if you decide to complete this road trip.
Stein am Rhein is a historical town situated at the river Rhine. It is famous for its very well-preserved old town with painted facades and half-timbered houses.
There are not that many tourists at this time of the year and many restaurants are closed for winter, so it was quiet and peaceful.
You can come here by car, public transport or by cruise from Schaffhausen. I haven’t been on the cruise before, but I’ve heard that it’s a nice experience. You can hop off the cruise here or continue to the lake Constance which is divided between three countries: Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Let’s start the tour!
The most beautiful part of Stein am Rhein is directly in its heart, at the Rathausplatz.
The layout of the old town didn’t change over the centuries and you will feel like you were transported a few centuries back to the medieval times. Six painted buildings are listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance and there is no doubt why. I have visited many Swiss cities but only in Stein am Rhein I’ve come across so many architectural gems situated in such a small space.
The frescoes must be maintained regularly to preserve their medieval appearance. And it’s all done at the expense of the owners of those buildings! The detail on the houses is fascinated. Every time we come here we find something what we didn’t notice before.
One of the Swiss heritage sites of national significance is the Rathaus. The frescoes on this building depict the Swiss history. They were created in 1900 by Carl von Häberlin. The Rathaus used to serve various purposes in the past. Today, it is a town hall.
The Rathausplatz used to be a marketplace in the past. The facade paintings date back to the end of the 18th century. There are two houses with older paintings and it’s the White Eagly from Renaissance and the Red Ox from Baroque.
If you want to enjoy some peaceful moments here, you need to visit it either early in the morning or late in the evening as it’s normally overcrowded. Winter months are great too as there are not many people coming here during this time of the year.
In the middle of the Rathausplatz is the Stadtbrunnen, also known as the City fountain. On top of the fountain is a soldier with shield with the coat of arms of Stein am Rhein. The original fountain dates back to 1601. It was however replace by a copy in 1888.
The fountain is also a great source of drinking water in summer. However, only drink from the tap.
From the Rathausplatz we went down the old town to the Unterstadt. There are many shops and restaurants along this street. I was surprised to see that many of them were open even though there were not that many people in the city. Usually, when you come around this time of the year it’s a like a ghost town.
Here we can see the entire Rathausplatz…
The frescoes are not only on those six houses that are listed as Swiss National Heritage. There are many more but they are not that significant.
Now we are standing in front of the Untertor (town gate). It was first mentioned back in 1367. However, the town gate had to be rebuilt as it was destroyed during the bombing in 1945.
Even though Switzerland was neutral during the World War II, some of its cities such as Stein am Rhein or Schaffhausen were destroyed by bombing anyway. The official reason is that there was a mistake in the navigation and the pilots thought that they were above Germany already. But who knows how it really was…
From the Untertor we turned left and enter the Riverfront. It’s one of the most popular sights in Stein am Rhein. It’s a long promenade with trees and many restaurants and bars. There are benches along the promenade and you can soak up some sun while watching the boats come and go.
I love Rhine in Switzerland. The water here is crystal clear and you want to take a dip. It changes color when it flows to Germany in Basel as there are huge companies that pollute the river.
We took some old bread from home and wanted to feed ducks and swans as there are normally plenty of them. But we didn’t see any, so we started to throw the bread to a couple of seagulls who were there.
After a few seconds more of them were coming to us…
I have no idea where they were coming from as we only saw two of them at the beginning. Apparently, they somehow signal each other that there is some food available…
They kept coming and waiting for bread but we didn’t have more. They were so quick! It all took just a couple of minutes…
When we left they were still waiting for more bread…
From the riverbank we headed back to the old town…
Each small street is charming. I like those streets because tourists usually don’t care and stay in the old town. Here you can find some peace even in the summer months.
We’re back at the Rathausplatz and from here we will head to the monastery.
I was disappointed to see that the monastery is closed in winter. I like coming back…
Even though the monastery was closed we could still cross the complex and get to the river.
Here we can see the Rhine Bridge. The original bridge that was connecting the two parts of Stein am Rhein dated back to the Roman times. In the 13th century it was replaced by a stone bridge and the current construction was built here in the 70th of the last century.
The monastery dates back to the 11th century. This place has so much history and you should take some time to visit it when you’re here. You won’t be disappointed, trust me.
The entrance to the monastery is on the right side. Next to the entrance is an information board and you can learn about this place before going inside.
We headed back to our car which we parked next to the monastery. We wanted to have a cup of coffee in our favorite cafe before leaving the town but it was closed, so we decided that we would go back to Schaffhausen and have a cup of coffee there.
I hope that you have enjoyed our tour!
Thank you for visiting!