December 2010
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Travel – Solothurn – The most beautiful Baroque City of Switzerland

Solothurn is in the Canton of Solothurn in Switzerland. It is the capital and the only municipality of Canton of Solothurn. It is located on the banks of Aare and in the north-west of Switzerland. It is situated on the foot of Weissenstein Jura Mountains. The city is also known as most beautiful Baroque City of Switzerland. This town is known to be built in 1530-1792. It is a combination of architecture of Italian Grandezza, French style and Swiss ideas. Its population is approximately 15,137. Solothurn is also known to acquire Wakker Prize which is given for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage. It is 30km east to Bienne.
Other names for this place are as St. Ursen City, Wengi City, the City of Ambassadors, Switzerland’s most beautiful baroque city, and the city of culture. The cathedral, St. Ursen is famous for its skyline and its emblem. This city is known to be of Roman times where they built “Castrum Salodurum”, a bell-shaped walled fort in 350 BC.
The official language of Solothurn is German but French and English are also well known in the centre. The different places to see are Besenval Palace, Cathedral St. Ursus (1762–73), Church of the Jesuits (Jesuitenkirche, 1680–89), Clock tower (Zeitglockenturm, 12th century), Gate of Basel, Gate of Bienne, Landhaus, Museum of the Old Arsenal (1609–14), Old town, The Verena Gorge and the Hermitage , Waldegg Castle and Weissenstein mountain.
Solothurn was the eleventh to become part of Swiss Confederation, there are 11 churches and chapels, there 11 historic fountains and 11 towers, St. Ursus has 11 altars and 11 bells and has levels between 11 steps and so the place is believed to have special connection to the number eleven. There is also a local brewery called Oufi which means eleven and has a beer named Oufi.
The place is filled with renaissance buildings, noble Palais Besenval, religious building, chapels, churches, one of them known for its Italian style staircase; the town walls which were built according to the principles of the French military engineer Vauban. It is also known as Catholic town. This town belongs to 16th to 18th centuries.

The Events in the town:
• Weissensteinlauf: Weissenstein Walk (Aug)
• Swiss Walking Event (Sep)

Places to see:

• Old Town – It is the finest and most compact Old Towns in Switzerland. It has old building with many Baroque highlights and a marked French influence.
• St. Urs Cathedral – It is made of pale Solothurn marble. It is the most important Early Classical building in Switzerland which has 11 altars and 11 bells. It was begun by Gaetano Matteo Pisoni and completed by Paolo Antonio Pisoni. The interior has stuccoes by Francesco Pozzi and canvasses by Domenico Corvi.
• Museum of the Old Arsenal (1609–14) – This museum has the most ancient collection of armor in Europe.
• Museum of Fine Art –This museum has an important collection of Swiss Art from 1850 onwards, with works by Cuno Amiet, Ferdinand Hodler, Bernhard Luginbühl, Meret Oppenheim, and Jean Tinguely.
• Boat ride on the Aare (in summer) – The boat ride from Aare to the Stork Colony in Altreu and via Büren is splendid. The Old Town features in the National Inventory of Heritage Sites, to bilingual Biel/Bienne.
• Weissenstein – It is the Solothurn’s local mountain (1291 m) which has a chairlift to reach the top and the Hotel Kurhaus Weissenstein in the Jugendstil. One can enjoy the views of Central Switzerland and the Alps. It is a place for walking, cycling, cross-country skiing and sledging.
• The cathedral: This cathedral is of st. Urs and Victor and its tower to which one can go up, are worth watching.
• The clock tower
• Einsiedelei im Verenaschlucht (Hermitage in the Verena gorge): This can be reached by a 45-minute walk north of the city. It is in a forest. It is a place to walk around, especially in the evenings when candles are lit and placed in between the rocks throughout.

How to get there:
By train: Solothurn is served by passenger rail services, the Swiss Federal Rail (SBB) system. Trains run to and from Geneva, Zurich, Bern, and points in between. They are accessible half-hour between 4AM and 1AM every day.
By Boat: Solothurn is also connected by boat to the bilingual town of Biel/Bienne. Boats by the BSG connect to the two towns and leave two (Spring/Fall) or three (summer) times a day.
Get around: The old town is north of the train station and across the river. To get around the town, by foot is the best option.

Best time to visit / climate:

The best time to visit Solothurn is summer that is around May, June and August. The places are mostly churches, chapels, museums, and palace and walks which are best suited in early summer to mid summer.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Driving directions from Geneva to Solothurn:

View Larger Map

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):
• Tripadvisor (hotel, restaurant)

Blogs / Sites about Solothurn:


Images and photos of Solothurn:

• Google Search (link)

Videos of Solothurn (link)

Solothurn the city, Switzerland

Solothurn city Switzerland

Solothurn: Timelapse Movie [HD]

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