Over the mediaeval Old Town of Schaffhausen looms the imposing Munot fortress. The houses of the Old Town are richly decorated with oriel windows and lavishly painted facades. The town, located on the Upper Rhine between the Black Forest and Lake Constance, and surrounded by vineyards, is a popular destination for holidays and day-trips.
The town of Schaffhausen is in the northernmost corner of Switzerland, in the “knee” of the Rhine in Eastern Switzerland on the border with Germany. It owes its origins to the Rheinfall waterfall: the settlement arose where shippers needed somewhere to unload and stack their goods when avoiding the rapids that were impassable for ships.
The traffic-free Old Town of Schaffhausen is considered one of the prettiest in Switzerland, on account of its many oriel windows and lavishly painted facades. Many of the fine guildhouses and merchant’s houses date from Gothic and Baroque times. The lively Old Town is very good for shopping. The town began with the street market in what is now the Vordergasse. This is also where you will find the High Gothic St. Johann church with its remarkable acoustics.
The emblem of the town, the Munot fortress, can be seen for miles. The ring-shaped stronghold was built between 1564 and 1589 to a design by Albrecht Dürer. You can see far and wide from the battlements. Every evening at 9 p.m., the Munot guard who lives in the tower rings the Munot bell, which used to be a sign that the town gates and inns should close.
In the area to the north of Schaffhausen, in the hilly region of the Randen, and on the vine-clad slopes of the Klettgau, there are lovely walks and cycle rides and you can enjoy a tasty drop of Pinot Noir. Learn about how the wine is made during a one-hour walk along the Trasadingen Wine Trail or in the Museum of Viticulture in Hallau.
The riverside landscape along the Rhine is a lovely area for cycling, walking and boating. The popular Untersee Lake-Rhine boat trip from Schaffhausen to Kreuzlingen is nearly 50 km long. The section of river between Schaffhausen and the well-preserved little mediaeval town of Stein am Rhein, with its frescos and painted houses, is particularly charming. The Benedictine monastery of St. Georgen now houses the monastery museum. Over the town towers the castle of Hohenklingen.