Friday, 28 September 2012

Historic Windisch

For such a small town, there are quite a lot of historical sights to visit in Brugg/Windisch ranging from the Romans to the Habsburg imperial family. We set off on a dog walk back in July with Mr T and Alf to discover a few of these sites but only realised recently I had forgotten to blog about them!

Our tour actually started in the middle of a psychiatric hospital...and no we didn't get lost! Königsfelden Abbey is a former Franciscan monastery and convent  founded in 1308 by the Habsburgs. Later on it  became the residence of the bailiffs of Bern, and since 1868 it has been a psychiatric clinic. The gardens are extremelly nice though and perfect for a gentle afternoon stroll. They have all sorts of animals from wooly pigs, to reindeers budgies and waterfowl.

The whole complex is part of the Legionärspfad or Legionnaire's walk on which one can visit excavations of the Roman camp Vindonissa . The Königsfelden abbey itself apparently contains a beautiful 14th Century stained glass but we didn't go in to see it as we had Alf with us.

However, we could marvel at what was left of the cloister, including old tombstones and beautifully carved windows. The abbey was built to commemorate the death of King Albert I of Germany at the request of his widow in the place where he was murdered by his nephew (History is always tinted with blood...)

Deciding to travel even further back in time, we walked another 15 minutes to the remains of a Roman amphitheatre, also in Windisch. Built around 50AD, it covers an area of 111 x 99 meters and  is the largest of its kind in Switzerland . Very impressive! I have seen many beautiful Roman buidlings during my stay in the South of France last year, including the big amphitheatre in Nîmes, but this little amphitheatre is equally impressive. Most surprising of all, it is completely unfenced and anyone is free to wander there at any time of the day/night.

Holding up to 11,000 spectators, Roman citizens from the Vindonissa camp came here to see gladiators and animal fights.

Amazing what you can get up to during a simple dog walk!


Juanita said...

Oh my, I have been told about Bruggs used to be a gateway during Roman times, and I am so glad you 'took' us along. (I would have never made the trip out, otherwise...)

And thanks so much for telling me about Juckerfarm! I have been told about it, for over 2 years now, but never had the opportunity to go. (I can't get my other half to bother about such things...) Last year, I told my neighbour about it, Swiss, mind you, and she thought nothing of it, so we never will get to go :((((((

Carolee Crafts said...

A wonderful tour and a special place to live, thank you

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