Appenzell – Tradition and customs

Highlights Eastern Switzerland

Appenzell and the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden are situated in a unique hilly landscape north of the Säntis. The region is characterized by rural customs such as alpine descents, authentic folk music and traditional dances as well as first-class hiking trails in the Alpstein region.

Main street Appenzell

Main street Appenzell

The townscape of Appenzell bears witness to the period after the fire of 1560. The colorful, curved and broken gables of the wooden houses give the town its very special character, which is best seen in the Hauptgasse with its originally preserved terraced houses. The “Kreuz” and “Raben” houses along Hauptgasse and the closed group of houses near the Falken inn on Gaiserstraße are typical examples of the local architectural style.

The Landsgemeindeplatz square with the lime tree is irregularly framed by buildings of different heights and architecture.

Landsgemeinde Appenzell – Tradition

Landsgemeinde Appenzell Innerrhoden

Landsgemeinde Appenzell Innerrhoden

Every year on the last Sunday in April, the men and women of Appenzell who are entitled to vote gather in the Landsgemeinde square to appoint the highest authorities and decide on important cantonal matters.

The Landsgemeinde elects the ruling and standing Landammann and the other five members of the Estates Commission as well as the President and members of the Cantonal Court.

With around 7000 inhabitants, Appenzell is the political, economic and cultural center of Switzerland’s smallest canton, Appenzell Innerrhoden. The car-free old town with its picturesque alleyways and numerous small stores invites you to stroll and shop.

The richly decorated, painted houses are characteristic of the region. The museum in the town hall offers a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the area.

Mountain inn Aescher

Mountain inn Aescher

Appenzell in summer

From Wasserauen, a cable car takes you comfortably up to Ebenalp (1644m), the gateway to the Alpstein hiking region. In just 15 minutes on foot through an idyllic landscape and two caves, you can reach the breathtaking Wildkirchli, which clings dramatically to the rocks. Even more spectacular is the location of the Mountain Inn Äscher, which is daringly built on the rocks and has been immortalized on postcards thousands of times.

Barefoot path

Barefoot path

Ebenalp is also a paradise for paragliders and the starting point for the hike to the summit of the Säntis. Those who prefer a less strenuous hike can take the cable car from Schwägalp up to the Säntis and enjoy the spectacular view.

Appenzell is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts with a diverse and well-developed network of hiking trails.

In addition to traditional routes, there are also adventure trails, such as the barefoot trail near Gonten, where you can feel nature up close, or a nature discovery trail that provides exciting insights into the local flora and fauna.

The circular chapel trails invite you on a spiritual journey. Other attractive hiking areas in Appenzell include the Kronberg, which can be reached by cable car from Jakobsbad and offers breathtaking views, and the Hohe Kasten, whose summit offers sweeping views over the Rhine Valley.

Snowshoe tour

Snowshoe tour

Appenzell in winter

In winter, the pre-Alpine hilly landscape and the majestic Alpstein are transformed into a magical snow paradise. Winter hiking and cross-country skiing are very popular in the Appenzell hills. An extensive network of around 200 km of cross-country ski trails stretches across the entire Appenzell region.

Ebenalp-Schwende is also a popular skiing area for the whole family in winter. Winter enthusiasts get their money’s worth here and can enjoy the white splendor to the full.

Video Appenzeller Landsgemeinde | Switzerland

This is the only place in the whole world where a sword serves as voter ID…

Appenzeller Landsgemeinde | Switzerland

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