Chapel Bridge in Lucerne


Rhine Falls

St. Moritz

Montreux-Lake Geneva

Bern Capital city





Rigi - Queen of the mountains

Geneva-Lake Geneva

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Switzerland

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention serves to protect outstanding natural and cultural assets. In Switzerland, 13 sites are currently included in this exclusive list, 9 of which have been recognized for their cultural significance and 4 for their scenic beauty.
Four remarkable natural phenomena and nine impressive cultural achievements in Switzerland have been awarded the coveted UNESCO emblem.

Each of these UNESCO World Heritage sites represents authenticity, quality and diversity that have been preserved for generations. These values are an integral part of the identity and mentality of the Swiss people.

Despite their unique characteristics, these sites share a common feature: a universal value that we share with the global community.

13 UNESCO Welterbe Stätten in der Schweiz...
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Switzerland – each one a universal value for the global community:
UNESCO World Heritage Site Tectonic Arena Sardona
Tectonic Arena Sardona
The conspicuous notch around the two-part Piz Sardona is impossible to miss. It separates the Verrucano rock, which is 250 to 300 million years old, from the 35 to 50 million year old flysch rock, with the younger rock layer lying at the bottom. This geological puzzle helped the Geopark to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 – but it can be solved.

The so-called “Glarus Thrust” on Piz Sardona (3,056 m) and the Sardona Tectonic Arena form the heart of the Sardona Geopark. Here, between Lake Murg, Pizol and Martinsloch near Elm, the enormous geological forces that played a role in the formation of the Alps become particularly clear. Over millions of years, the collision of the continental plates of Africa and Europe have formed mountains and folded, broken and pushed rock layers on top of each other.

UNESCO-Welterbe Monte San Giorgio

Monte San Giorgio

From the summit of Monte San Giorgio, which rises to an altitude of 1,097 meters, the view over the peaks of the Lugano Alps and Lake Lugano is breathtaking. But the real treasures of this mountain lie hidden inside: Marine fossils dating back up to 245 million years can be found here.

Monte San Giorgio is located between the two southern arms of Lake Lugano in southern Ticino and is not nicknamed the “Swiss dinosaur mountain” for nothing. Hidden inside the mountain is an impressive collection of well-preserved marine fossils.

Since the 19th century, this place has been a pilgrimage site for paleontologists. Several thousand fossilized fish and marine dinosaurs, some up to six metres long, have been discovered here. Due to this unique significance, Monte San Giorgio was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. In 2010, the Italian side of the mountain was also added to the list.

Lavaux UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lavaux vineyard terraces

The Lavaux wine terraces, which were created in the Middle Ages, and numerous historic buildings are not only in excellent condition, but are still actively maintained today. There is evidence that the Romans already cultivated vines in this region.

From the 11th century onwards, viticulture flourished when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries settled here – both were orders that placed particular emphasis on viticulture. The inclusion of Lavaux in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007 was also influenced by the impressive view of the lake and the Alps. This can be enjoyed to the full on a hike along numerous well-marked hiking trails.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Castelgrande in Bellinzona

The castles of Bellinzona

The medieval castles and defensive walls of Bellinzona in Ticino are a unique site in the Alpine region. The impressive fortification complex of towers, battlements and gates, set against the majestic backdrop of the mountains, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for good reason.

Castelgrande, also known as Castello di San Michele, is the oldest of the three castles (circa 1250-1500). It rises majestically on a rocky plateau high above the old town and is particularly impressive with its two towers, the imposing 28-metre-high Torre Nera and the 27-metre-high Torre Bianca.

UNESCO World Heritage Old Town Bern
Old town of Bern
Bern was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1983 thanks to its medieval charm. However, it is the magnificent Alpine backdrop that gives this “bear city” its unique charm.

For UNESCO, the unity of the old town in particular was a decisive criterion for the award of World Heritage status. In contrast to many other European cities, Bern has preserved its medieval appearance with sandstone façades and a unique roofscape remarkably well, despite its development into a modern capital. A special feature of Bern’s old town are the arcades, also known as “Lauben”, which, with a total length of around 6 kilometers, form one of the longest covered shopping streets in Europe.

UNESCO World Heritage St. Gallen Cathedral
Abbey district of St. Gallen
The abbey district of St. Gallen, characterized by its baroque cathedral and the world-famous abbey library, is the city’s most striking landmark. A visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site can be wonderfully combined with hikes in the idyllic surroundings between Lake Constance and Appenzell.

The roots of the abbey district of St. Gallen go back to the beginnings of the city, which today has around 80,000 inhabitants in eastern Switzerland. St. Gallen was founded in 719 by the Irish wandering monk Gallus, who founded the Benedictine monastery of St. Gallen. St. Gallus is still revered today as the patron saint of the city.

Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site


Switzerland made UNESCO history in 2001 when the Jungfrau-Aletsch region was designated as the first Alpine World Heritage Site.

The Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn region is considered by UNESCO to be an outstanding example of the beauty of the Alps. As the largest contiguous glaciated area in the European Alps, it is not only home to an impressive landscape, but also provides information of universal value. This ranges from insights into the formation of the Alpine mountains to knowledge about the processes of climate change. The Great Aletsch Glacier, which is considered the longest and largest in the Alps, covers an area of almost 82 km², including its source glaciers.

UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina landscape
Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina landscape
The two high mountain lines, the Albula line (from Chur to St. Moritz) and the Bernina line (from St. Moritz to Tirano), not only form the heart of the Rhaetian Railway, but since July 2008 – as the third railroad line worldwide – they have also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stretching from Thusis to Tirano in Italy.

This line represents an outstanding achievement from the pioneering days of the railroad and played a decisive role in the development of the high mountains. It runs over 122 kilometers through 196 bridges, 55 tunnels and passes through 20 communities. When it was built at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, the numerous structures for overcoming gorges, cliffs and gradients were extremely innovative. Even today, the harmonious integration of the railroad line into the spectacular high mountain landscape is still impressive, and many consider it to be the most spectacular and perhaps most beautiful railroad route in the world.

Watchmaking Town Planning of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle
Watchmaking Town Planning of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle
The cities of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle, both located in the canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, vividly illustrate the successful integration of urban planning and the watchmaking industry. In June 2009, they were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, recognizing their exceptional cultural significance.

Globally renowned for their deep ties to the watchmaking sector, these cities evolved into flourishing centers for crafting high-quality timepieces during the 18th century.

The urban landscapes of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle stand as remarkable examples of the planning and architectural development that accompanied the industrial revolution. Their UNESCO World Heritage status underscores their historical and cultural importance as unique testimonies to the fascinating synergy between watchmaking craftsmanship and city planning.

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