Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
Bern Capital city
Rigi - Queen of the mountains
UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Switzerland
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.
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.
Monte San Giorgio
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 vineyard terraces
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.
The castles of Bellinzona
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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