Recently we talked about the 7 Swiss Most Astonishing Natural Wonders all World Envy. But did you know that Switzerland also has 7 Man-Made Wonders? And they are in no way less incredible than the natural wonders Switzerland offers to its visitors! Let us take you on a trip with incredible pictures and secret tips during a time we can only travel with our minds. Fasten your seatbelts, we are about to take off: here are the Swiss Incredible Man-Made Wonders!
7. Chillon Castle
Chillon Castle’s origins date back to the Roman Empire. Back then it was a simple outpost to guard the passage between mountains. Its origins as a castle date back about 1000 years ago, a very respectable age even for European castles!
Located on a rock of lake Geneva, Chillon Castel is Switzerland’s most visited historical site with 400.000 visitors yearly and was owned by the Italian king’s family, the Savoy, from the 12th till the 16th century. Back then, it was a profitable toll station.
A visit to the castle costs about 12$ and takes about 2 hours. Audioguides and local tour guides are available. Visiting times are from 9 am to 7 pm.
The last thing you can’t miss about Chillon Castel is its inspiration for Disneys Mermaid movie castle. Here you can see the similarity:
To find out more real-life locations that inspired Dinsey movies, click here.
6. Lavaux Vineyards
If you think about Switzerland, you probably don’t think about vineyards. Even if you think about Swiss food or drinks, you will rather think about chocolate and Ovaltine. But there is one part of Switzerland, that is all about wine! Welcome to the Lavaux Vineyards in South-West Switzerland.
Not far from Chillon Castel and still on the lakeside of Lake Geneva, are 800hectars of fine Swiss grapes. There is actually a path that passes by some of the most exquisite Swiss wineries, where you can stop to sip the local drinks, to the famous Chillon Castle. Chances are high that you will reach the Castle in a better mood than you would expect 🙂
Here are some of the huge wooden barrels where wine is fermented. As usual, the Swiss added certain happiness elements. Link drunk men playing cards.
5. Grande Dixence Dam
So if wine isn’t exactly what comes to your mind when thinking about Switzerland, crazy engineering might! Switzerland is well known for its high tech standards and some absolutely crazy human constructions. All those mountains make it kind of necessary.
The Grand Dixence Dam is the world’s highest gravity dam, collecting water from 35 Valaisian Glaciers. It was built between 1951 to 1965, it is 200 meters thick at the base, 285 meters tall and 695 meters wide. It provides electricity for 400.000 Swiss households. Here is a picture of the dam during construction:
In 1993 Grand Dixence SA changed the power station for 1,2 billion USD
4. Abbey Cathedral of St. Gallen
On the shores of another Swiss lake, Lake Constanze, we find one of Switzerlands most iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Abbey of St. Gallen. Built over 1000 years with constructions dating back to 747 AC and completion achieved only by 1805. The Cathedral is a religious and intellectual center. The latter is made clear by the astonishing library containing 160.000 ancient books! Look at this picture and understand how a church made it in the top 5 of Swiss Incredible Man-Made Wonders:
The most ancient books contained in the library are written in Irish, which is proof enough for historians that the origins of the Abbey are Irish. And for as pretty the library and the exterior appearance is, the interiors of the St. Gallen Abbey are no less astonishing!
And as we said before, Swiss people love to be a bit “extravagant”. That’s the only way we can explain their choice of holding a large scale theatrical event in the St.Gallen Abbey square. Every Summer it takes place at the beginning of July, and if you want to get your ticket yet for next year, check it out here.
3. Landwasser Viaduct
One of Switzerland’s most famous engineering projects isn’t that famous for its engineering. The Landwasser Viaduct was built in 1902 by Swiss Engineers. It is 65 meters tall and 136 meters long. The viaduct was built with such Swiss precision, that it needed its first manutention in 2009, over 100 years after completion! Yet, even if the viaduct is an incredible engineering project, above all for its time, it is rather famous for its idyllic beauty!
Many tourists take the train from Schmitten to Filisur just for beautiful views and pictures to post on social media. And it truly is a wonderful sight. Under the Viaduct is a small walkway. It didn’t make it into our 5 best hiking trails in Switzerland for Summer, but it is a marvelous walk through a narrow valley worth walking!
2. Castles of Bellinzona
The three castles of Bellinzona are one of the main attractions in canton Ticino. Not only unique to the Alpine region; they also share a part on the prestigious UNESCO cultural world heritage list since the year 2000. The mighty walls, towers, battlements, and gates of these imposing fortresses never cease to astonish visitors.
In earlier times, the medieval castles of Castelgrande, Castello Montebello, and Castello Sasso Corbaro protected the city they now adorn. Only remnants now remain of the fortress walls that once surrounded Bellinzona. Bellinzona was a very important line of defense for the ancient Romans, and the first written reference dates back to 590. The castles were an ancient engineering miracle that protected security and prosperity for many generations, and therefore rightfully deserves a high place on Swiss Incredible Man-Made Wonders list.
1. Observation Terrace Sphinx
We already talked about the Sphynx observatory in the 10 SECRET PLACES IN SWITZERLAND FOR ADVENTURERS. And it is an absolutely well deserved 1st place on the list of 7 Swiss Incredible Man-Made Wonders That Will Blow Your Mind, as it literary blows your mind! The huge wind up there, in Europes biggest glacier extension, is a cold breeze united with a crazy view!
Located at over 3500 meters above the sea level, this is Europ’s highest railway station. It was built in 1937 to observe stars in solitude, far from light pollution. But more than one astronomer fell in love with the view to Earth instead of to the stars. Quite easy if this is the view you enjoy for breakfast:
Luckily, this place is now accessible even for normal people, who can enjoy easy access with the cablecar to this wonderful human creation. Do you agree that the Sphinx telescope is Swiss’s most Incredible Man-Made Wonders?
Switzerland offers amazing beautiful natural and man-made structures. It is a country that offers great possibilities to its visitors and treats them with all luxury possible. If you decide to travel to our amazing country, you might want to get a real Swiss backpack. Check out why you will travel safely with our RUIGOR backpacks and why you will never lose an item with them! More generally, if you are interested in finding more info about how to choose you next backpack, check out our free and quick guide here!
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