Switzerland is known for its greenery and its clean and well-preserved cities. Each year, millions of visitors contemplate unforgettable places, as the slopes of the Alps all covered with vegetation or their most iconic cities, Lucerne, Geneva, Bern. It is also usual to choose this destination to practise the best skiing in Europe.
However, far from the typical tourist routes we can also discover little gems worth seeing, because they give us a different view of this original and endearing country. In this case we are talking about Stein am Rhein, a historic enclave on the north of the country.
The name 'Stein am Rhein' means Rock on the Rhine, which gives us a glimpse of what we can find there, a beautiful village nestled by the river Rhine, near its mouth into Lake Constance, just a few meters away from the border with Germany. The impulse that gave this place its current morphology was due to King Henry II, who moved the Abbey from the nearby city of Singen to this town to strengthen his presence there.
Currently all the historical centre of this town, with not much more than 3,000 inhabitants, is closed to traffic, so you can take a walk to visit it calmly. Walking through its streets is like going back to the Middle Ages and the environment given by its squares full of respectful visitors just reinforce this feeling.
But perhaps the highlight of Stein am Rhein are the facades of the buildings, most of them painted with medieval motifs: kings, field and hunting scenes, etc.. The thorough contemplation of these works of art will lead us to occasional pleasant surprises hidden in the drawings, a task that amaze tourists regardless of age.
Of course, to finish the tour before going our way, we should stop by some of the terraces to enjoy some of the local beers as well as visiting the area of the river, where we can catch some of its exciting views with our cameras.