What nature took thousands or millions of years to create, and what mankind has built up over the centuries, are all things that are well worth preserving. Switzerland’s wealth consists of its cultural heritage and its wonderful, diverse natural landscapes. From these treasures, UNESCO has picked out the eleven most valuable gems, giving them World Heritage status.
Castles of Bellinzona (Ticino)
The fortifications of Bellinzona are among the most important examples of medieval defensive architecture in the Alps. With its castles, walls, towers, battlements and gates, this impressive fortress is a source of wonder and amazement.
Old City (Bern)
Thanks to the largely unchanged medieval city center, Berne was included in 1983 in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With just under 4 miles of arcades, the city is home to one of Europe’s longest covered shopping promenades. Numerous historic buildings such as churches, towers, fountains and bridges make a visit to the Old city an unforgettable experience.
Rhaetian Railway, Albula/Bernina (Chur)
80 miles in one train. The Albula/Bernina railway line forms the heart of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listing and is regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular routes.
Tectonic Arena Sardona (Eastern Switzerland)
The 186 sq. miles area around the Piz Sardona shows the geological phenomenon of overlay - older rock strata are to be found above younger ones. They bear witness to the formation of mountains and to plate tectonics.
Biosphere Reserve Entlebuch (Central Switzerland)
Central Switzerland’s first and only biosphere reserve offers natural beauty at its finest. Seemingly endless moors, craggy karst formations and wild unbridled mountain streams provide unique experiences and views.
La Chaux-de-Fonds (Neuchatel, Jura)
The site presents outstanding examples of mono-industrial manufacturing towns that are well preserved and still active.
Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces (Lake Geneva Region)
At over 1976 acres, the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux form Switzerland’s largest contiguous vineyard area with terrace after terrace offering magnificent views. St-Saphorin, Dézaley, Epesses - names which roll easily off the tongue of fans of fine wine. The natural, cultural and culinary highlights of this area are definitely well worth a visit.
Monte San Giorgio (Ticino)
Its summit offers up magnificent views and those inclined to scratch about on it will be left with the impression that marine fauna and other large animals once lived here
Benedictine Convent of St. John, Müstair (Graubuenden)
The internationally renowned Convent of St. John in Müstair owes its existence and uniqueness to Charlemagne. It is one of the few existing architectural examples from the Carolingian period.
Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch (Valais)
The Heritage Site stands for the splendid natural beauty of the Alps. At its heart lies the impressive Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau rock massif and the glacial landscape surrounding the Great Aletsch Glacier. The Aletsch Glacier is the biggest glacier in the Alps, with a length of just over 14 miles.
Abbey District (St.Gallen)
In St. Gallen you’ll find history at every turn. The city’s landmark is the Convent of St. Gall with its Baroque cathedral. The abbey precinct with its magnificent Baroque cathedral forms a unique historical ensemble. The Abbey Library - with Switzerland’s most beautiful non-ecclesiastical Baroque hall - now contains 160,000 books.