The best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Switzerland

Convent in Müstair, photo by StefanRohrbach on Flickr

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are like candy to a traveler who wants to spend as much time sightseeing as possible. Whenever you are not sure about what to see when you are traveling to a foreign country, you can simply grab a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and you’ll have the guarantee that you’ll be seeing some of the best attractions there are. In Switzerland there is no shortage of heritage sites, both natural and man-made – there are eleven of them in total, and soon even gruyere cheese fondue might be designated as an intangible Swiss heritage! But until then, you can visit some of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Switzerland.

Benedictine Convent of St John, Müstair, Val Müstair

The Benedictine Convent of St John Müstair has been a world heritage site for more than two decades, and it is one of the few places on the planet where you can see exceptionally well preserved Carolingian art. The convent dates back to the 8th century, and the paintings were done in the 12th century, but they were discovered only in the 20th century during some restoration work. Le

La Chaux-de-Fond, Neuchatel Canton

La Chaux-de-Fond, photo by Nelson Minar on Flickr

The picturesque town of La Chaux-de-Fond was founded in the 17th century, and it developed thanks to the boom of the clockmaking industry. The original town was completely destroyed at the end of the 18th century, but it was rebuilt according to a tidy street plan soon after. Many of the buildings are beautiful art nouveau creations, and there are over twenty Swiss national sites scattered around town. Just take a walk on the streets, and you’ll discover one of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Switzerland.

Abbey of St Gall, St Gallen

The Abbey of St Gall is one of the most important Carolingian era religious sites in the country, and while the architecture of the building is simply breathtaking, the convent is truly unique thanks to its medieval library, one of the largest in the world. There are over 150,000 early medieval books in the collection, many of them handwritten. The interior of the library is decorated in elaborate Rococo style.

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, Vaux Canton

Lavaux Vineyards, photo by Anu & Anant on Flickr

The Lavaux area has been used for vine cultivation since Roman times, but the extensive vineyard terraces that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites date back to the 11th century. Site hundreds of hectares of carefully terraced vineyards sprawl on the shores of Lake Geneva, creating a wonderfully idyllic Mediterranean-looking landscape.

Monte San Giorgio, Ticino Canton

Monte San Giorgio on the shores of Lake Lugano is one of the prettiest natural spots in the whole country. The mountain became a world heritage site because of its wealth of marine life fossils from the Triassic period, but you don’t have to be a paleontologist in order to enjoy the site’s natural beauty.

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