Where in the World is this place!? Switzerland, my friends. 30 mins drive North from the capital, Bern. This idyllic town is the perfect setting to satisfy you appetite for All Things Medieval. Welcome!
According to Wikipedia (and who would doubt the integrity of the source?), the settlement of Solothurn dates back to Paleolithic era. Well, I have not witnessed much influence from those times, but the presence of the Roman Empire is in the air and in the cobble-stone streets. The fortress, or rather the walls surrounding the city with monasteries (what a diverse lot of those!) and numerous houses of nobility, was first erected around 350 AD. The following centuries and ruling nations (Romans, French, the Swiss and French again) by the 16th century have shaped these walls into the cutest fortress with most delicious 3 cupcake towers!
And more towers. Some more adopted for living in than others:
This last one is ancient and is lovingly referred to as the Leaning Tower. Why? Because it is! However, unlike its more famous sister in Pizza, that is leaning due to the unstable ground it stands on, the Leaning Tower of Solothurn is a man-made… well, accident 🙂
Naturally, no Medieval city is truly Medieval without the Market Square and the Clock Tower. Solothurn Clock Tower, built in the 12th century, is truly magnificent, a masterpiece of craftsmanship and an impressive piece of machinery:
The Hour Hand – a large hand with 3 finders raised in oath taking – indicates the time of day. The Moon Hand – a hand with crescent moon, rotates anti-clockwise (!) – marks the day in the 27-day moon cycle, along with the phases of the Moon. The Sun Hand – a little hand with the Sun – keeps track of the current sign of the Zodiac.
As for the churches, another trademark of a Medieval or – let’s be honest – any old city, Solothurn is quite a treasure box. St. Ursus Cathedral is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. The remains of St. Ursus, an early Roman martyr, are kept here. The first church was build in the early Middle Ages. The Cathedral in its present shape was constructed by the end of the 18th century.
249 winding stone, wood, very old and rotten wood and finally new wood steps eventually brought us to this:
This is where I leave you, my dears, because there is no better place to stay. Don’t forget to breathe!
Inspired by Jo’s Monday Walk.