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Schaffhausen, Switzerland

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Schaffhausen, SwitzerlandSchaffhausen, Switzerland
photo source
authorshipRoland zh
photo licensing

Schaffhausen is an elegant, well-preserved town in northern Switzerland. It is located on the northern bank of the River Rhine, in the sliver of Switzerland that protrudes into Germany. Schaffhausen covers 31 sq km (11.97 sq mi) and has a population of 35,000 people (2011 estimate). It is 403 m (1,322 ft) above sea level.

Haus zum Ritter, SchaffhausenHaus zum Ritter, Schaffhausen
photo source
authorshipAd Meskens

Schaffhausen is located upriver from Rhine Falls, the largest waterfall in Europe. During the Middle Ages, boats going downriver had to stop at Schaffhausen to unload their cargo. This has benefited the town since the medieval times.

Schaffhausen was first mentioned in historical documents in 1045. A Benedictine monastery was established here in 1050, and it became the focus around which the town developed. It was ruled by the Habsburgs until the 15th century, when it bought its freedom. Then in 1501, it joined the Old Swiss Confederacy.

The Reformation swept through Schaffhausen in 1529, leading to the Thirty Years War between the Protestants and Roman Catholics. The religious conflict led to a stagnation of the town's economy that prolonged until the early 19th century.

Kirche St Johann, SchaffhausenKirche St Johann, Schaffhausen
photo source
authorshipAndreas Praefcke
photo licensing

Today most of the people in Schaffhausen speak German as their mother tongue (84.3%), with Serbo-Croatian surprisingly being the second most common language (3.4%). On the other hand, there is a high percentage of non-locals living in the city, forming 26.4% of the population.

The warmest month in Schaffhausen is July, when the average high temperature rises to 23.6°C (74.5°F). Coldest month is January, when the average low temperature drops to -3.3°C (26.1°F). August is the wettest month, receiving 98 mm (3.86 in) of rainfall.

Fountain in SchaffhausenFountain in Schaffhausen
photo source
authorshipAndreas Praefcke
photo licensing

The Old Town area of Schaffhausen is worth exploring, with many history buildings. 35 of the buildings in the city are today gazetted as Swiss heritage sites of national significance.

Visiting Schaffhausen

There are subway services on line S16 between Zürich Airport and Schaffhausen, with one train every hour Mondays to Fridays, and fewer during weekends. There are also hourly trains from Zürich railway station to Schaffhausen.

Sights & Attractions in Schaffhausen

  1. Altes Zeughaus
    Schaffhausen's Old Armoury, built in the Renaissance style, with a highly ornamented doorway.
  2. Fronwagplatz
    Public square in the heart of Schaffhausen, formerly the market place during medieval times, today surrounded by historic buildings and monuments.
  3. Haus zum Ritter
    The Knight's House, ornately embellished with Renaissance frescoes, date from 1568.
  4. Kirche St Johann
    The parish church of St John was established in the 11th century. The present structure was completed in the 16th century.
  5. Münster zu Allerheiligen
    Minster in the Romanesque style, built in the mid 12th century, and was originally part of a Benedictine abbey established in the 11th century. It today houses a museum showcasing medieval artifacts.
  6. Rathaus
    The town hall of Schaffhausen, built in the Renaissance style in 1412.
  7. Schillerglocke
    Bell of the Schaffhausen monastery which inspired German poet Friedrich Schiller to pen a poem about it - and in return was honored with his name on the bell.
  8. Schmiedstube
    Gateway to the Smith's Guild House, with decorations depicting smiths' tools.

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