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Kaiserstuhl, Switzerland

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Kaiserstuhl, SwitzerlandKaiserstuhl, Switzerland
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authorshipRoland Zumbühl
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Kaiserstuhl is a beautiful medieval village in Zurzach district, Aargau canton, in northern Switzerland. The village is on the south bank of the River Rhine, right across from the state of Baden-Württremberg in Germany on the other side. The center of the village is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.

Kaiserstuhl dates back to 1227. The earliest reference to its name, as Kayserstule, was made in 1236. In the 14th century, Kaiserstuhl served as a refuge for the Bishop of Constance when he was ousted from the city. Viticulture and animal husbandry in the surrounding countryside made the village prosperous, particularly in the 17th century, when most of its present buildings were built.

Until 1798, Kaiserstuhl occupied both sides of the River Rhine. However the creation of the Canton of Baden separates the two sides of Kaiserstuhl. The northern side becomes the village of Hohentengen in Baden-Wüttemberg. In 1799, the bridge linking the two sides of the Rhine was destroyed by the French, ending border traffic for Kaiserstuhl for almost two decades. The subsequent bridge was also destroyed and rebuilt a few times, in 1817, 1876, 1890 and 1985.

Today Kaiserstuhl has a number of historic buildings worth seeing. The population of Kaiserstuhl is predominantly German speaking (85.5%). 44.9% of the villagers belong to the Swiss Reformed Church while 28.8% are Roman Catholic.

Kaiserstuhl medieval towerKaiserstuhl medieval tower
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authorshipDietrich Michael Weidmann
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Visiting Kaiserstuhl

From Zürich, take expressway 51 (Unterlandautobahn) heading north. Then continue on Route 4 still heading north till roundabout at Hömlihof. Head west on Route 7 (Hochleistungsstrasse) and look for signage to Kaiserstuhl.

Sights & Attractions in Kaiserstuhl

  1. Kaiserstuhl Old Town
    Explore the triangular area that has been gazetted as a heritage site.
  2. Kirche St Katharina
    18th century church built in the Baroque style
  3. Rotwasserstelz Castle
    Often called the "German Measles Castle", this castle dates from the 12th century with renovations done in the 13th through 18th centuries.

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