During my last trip to Switzerland I spent a day visiting the city of Solothurn with its pedestrian-friendly “Altstadt” (old town). The beautiful Altstadt can best be described in photos.
Solothurn is situated on the Aare (one of the most important rivers in Switzerland).
View of St. Urs Cathedral from outside the walls of the Altstadt.
Basel Gate entrance to the Altstadt.
Part of the wall surrounding the Altstadt.
The highlight of the Altstadt is St. Urs Cathedral designed by Gaetano Matteo and Paolo Antonio Pisoni. It was built between 1762 and 1773. Unfortunately, we couldn’t enter the church because in January 2011 a fire partially destroyed the interior of the building and it was still under renovation.
A frequent sight in the Altstadt is fountains. There are 11 fountains situated inside the walled city. In ancient times women used these fountains to wash clothes. However, I am not sure if they have any purpose in 2012. I imagine if you tried to wash your clothes in them a friendly police officer would show up and arrest you.
The oldest structure in the Altstadt is the Clock Tower which was built in the first half of the 13th century. (I guess that the Swiss became obsessed with time way back then.) The astronomical clock was added in 1545. The clock has three hands – the large hand indicates the hours of day and night, the moon and sun hands indicate the position of the celestial bodies.
There is no shortage of places to spend money in the Altstadt– speciality shops, department stores, boutiques, bars, restaurants and cafés Honestly, it felt like an outdoor shopping center with the streets acting as corridors in a large shopping complex.
Overall, the Altstadt is a great place for shopping and a nice place to enjoy a stroll amongst the ancient buildings and cobbled streets.
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