Monday, 27 May 2013

Removals to Switzerland – A Guide to the Country’s Top Castles and Historic Buildings

If you require removals to Switzerland and are a lover of castles and historic buildings, as many people are, then regardless of which canton you are moving to, Switzerland will not disappoint.  There are a great many historic buildings that you are able to visit and some that may even be available to purchase. There are fairytale castles, magnificent mansions, and some fine old city buildings, which are bound to catch your eye. Once you have organised your removals to Switzerland and have settled in the country, you may wish to explore the local area and visit some of these wondrous edifices.

If you are looking for an experienced removals team to help with your removals to Switzerland, Hamiltons Removals are the ones to call. We have over 20 years’ experience in the business and regularly move people to and from all parts of Europe. We offer cost effective moving solutions and can tailor our service to your exact requirements. We offer full or part-load removals, we can provide secure storage and do the packing and unpacking for you. We can help you to fill out the customs forms. We can even help with the professional cleaning of the home you have just vacated. We have looked at every aspect of your removal and offer you a workable, affordable solution.

In this article, we have brought together our pick of the TOP 10 Swiss castles and historic buildings but, of course, we understand that any Top 10 is subjective so if you know of any that you feel we should have included, please feel free to add your comments.

Removals to Switzerland – click here for full information on our removals to Switzerland service.

Our Guide to Some of the Most Interesting Buildings in Switzerland

Abbey Church - Payerne 

This is one of the most significant churches in Switzerland. Built in the 11th-century by the first religious community to be set up in the area, it was constructed in stages over 140 years. It would have stood alone and without protection if it weren’t for its connections with the Abbey in Cluny and the Royal family. Its beauty and charm are well preserved and presented. Sculpted and decorated from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, this is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture to be found anywhere in Switzerland. The building has since lost its religious status, but is used instead to host the most prestigious art exhibitions.

Batiment des Forces Motrices – Banks of the Rhone

The BFM as it is locally and affectionately known is a prime example of how to use and re-use brown belt land. An industrial site since May 1886, it was transformed into an Opera House in September of 1997. Situated as an island in the middle of the Rhone, It began life as a hydraulic power station supplying water under high pressure to the city's fountains, houses and factories. Decommissioned in the 1960’s and classified an historic building in 1988, its cultural future was secured when, in 1994, representatives of the Grand Theatre said they needed another location for their 1997-1998 season. Several phone calls, some construction and refurbishment later, it became the new 1000 seater Grand Theatre.

Benedictine Convent of St John

The Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair features the best examples of Romanesque murals, frescoes and stuccoes to be found anywhere in Switzerland. Situated in the upper valley of the Canton of Grisons, the building underwent some interior remodelling around 1908 and then again, throughout the late 40's and early 50's. It was during these alterations that the removal of a Gothic ceiling and whitewashing revealed scenes from the Old and New Testaments dating back to the Carolingian period AD751- 987. The discovery of this artwork, painted in ochres, reds and browns, led to the site being given UNESCO world cultural heritage status. 

Chenaux Castle

Not far from Payerne with its historic Abbey Church, about eight kilometres to the northwest, is the small medieval town of Estavayer. This is where you'll find the impressive Château de Chenaux. Overlooking Lake Neuchâtel and the Grande Cariçaie nature reserve, this 14th century castle is quite simply splendid. It has been through the wars a bit in its time and just one of its towers still stands but, even so, a walk around the grounds and courtyards will give you all the impression you'll need of the majesty of the place and the views of the surrounding countryside that you get from the turrets is lovely.

Château de Chillon

One of the prettiest châteaux in all of Switzerland, Château de Chillon is easy to get to too. Follow the main road from Lausanne and take the Villeneuve exit, the one after Montreux. Take the road down to the lake then turn right, you'll soon reach a car park and the entrance to the château. Give yourselves a good couple of hours, as there is a lot to see. There is a guided ipod tour available which is very interesting and all the rooms are numbered to correspond with it. After your tour, you might like to take a picnic by the lake; the views and surrounding countryside are very pretty.

Château de Prangins

Now forming part of the Swiss National Museum, Château de Prangins, which dates back to 1730, is very much open for business. It has played host to many famous guests over the years and will doubtless go on doing so for many years to come. The immaculate parks and gardens that surround the house are a joy to walk around, as is the building itself, which has been painstakingly restored to its original glory. The château houses a permanent museum and regularly features special exhibitions detailing Swiss life in the 18th and 19th centuries. There is a varied programme of other events reflecting Swiss art, culture and society.

Church San Guerg

There are many St. George’s Basilicas around the world but only one Church San Guerg in Lavin. Many tourists visit the Church all year round and, once there, you'll realise why. They come to see the famous murals dating back to 1500. The reformation of the churches saw them whitewashed, as in the case of the Benedictine Convent of St John, but the renovations of 1956 have bought them back to their former splendour. These, together with countless paintings, ornaments, intricate plasterwork and masonry, make this church well worth a visit. It’s a working church so don’t be surprised to find the place busy if your visit should coincide with Mass.

Ittingen Charterhouse

This 850-year-old building in the municipality of Warth is one of the region’s most important cultural sites. These days it is a training and conference centre with a worldwide reputation for excellence. There's a lot going on here, from its hotel and restaurant complex serving the most wonderful cuisine to its farming estate with cheese making factory and vineyard. There's a residential care home and nursery, workplaces for the disabled and an art museum. Here, people from all over the world and of all religions come to learn, to meditate and to be at one with each other in contemplation and spiritual connectivity.

Tarasp Castle

We have mouthwash to thank for this not-so-little Swiss gem. Karl August Lingner, the man behind the Odol oral hygiene brand, bought the castle as a neglected, run-down shell and completely gutted it. In the ensuing years, he spared no expense in returning the castle to better than former glory. Nothing in the castle is original and yet everything is correct and of the period. The gardens too received an extensive make over and are a joy to walk around. This was a huge restoration job. You should allocate at least half a day when visiting here and there are plenty of lovely restaurants to visit locally.

Museum Castle Kyburg

Overlooking the River Töss, the museum traces Castle Kyburg’s 800-year history giving a real insight into castle life over the centuries. As well as looking around its cellar, attic, torture chamber and kitchens, and for a truly interactive experience, you can take part in a staged court of justice. The castle once belonged to the “Count of Kyburg” Hartmann von Dillingen. The v. Dillingen’s were one of the most important and influential families in the area, after the Habsburgs and the Savoys. Join the club at Schloss Kyburg and you’ll receive free admission, a yearbook with historical information and invites to special events.

About Hamiltons Removals

For over 20 years now, Hamiltons Removals have been offering a tailored, bespoke removals service to all parts of the UK, Europe and beyond. We specialize in low cost, high quality removals and provide a service that is second to none. Our reputation speaks for us. We take pride in our work and in the fact that so many of our clients happily recommend our services to their friends. Peruse our online brochure and call us on 0845 003 8259. We look forward to assisting you with your removals to Switzerland.

Removals to Switzerland – click here for full information on our removals to Switzerland service or click here for a free European removals quote.

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