""Timeout" Beside the River Aare..." Top 5 Page for this destination Thun by Greggor58
Thun Travel Guide: 201 reviews and 767 photos
Thun is for me a wonderful small city that no matter how many times I visit, I am ALWAYS wishing that I had more time to spend here. I visit Thun whenever I am spending time in Switzerland and little by little, I am getting to experience more and more of it. I have friends that live close by that I seem to be visiting with annually and I try to budget some time in Thun when I can.
Thun is a small and easy city to get around in, at least the Old Town where many of the most interesting attractions for me are to be found. It’s a city with a population of just slightly more than 40,000 people.
Thun is located on the shores of the River Aare , a beautifully colored and fast flowing river fed by waters from Lake Thun or as its otherwise known as, the Thunersee.
Some call it the “Gateway to the Bernese Oberland” and from many places in Thun you can see high mountains peaks that are snow covered in winter and really as the crow flies, from Thun to Interlaken and the Jaungfrau region of Switzerland its very close. The city itself sits at an elevation of about 560 meters above sea level.
The Old Town of Thun is built up along two channels of the river and an island (Balliz) that is joined to each side of the mainland by a number of bridges, some that are for pedestrians ONLY. The channels of the river are known as Innere Aare and Aussere Aare and you’ll find some very pretty walkways along each channel of the river and a few different areas where there are an abundance of outdoor cafes, restaurants and bars. The water flow through the city itself is controlled by two separate sluice gates, one called the Obere Schleuse and the other called the Untere Schleuse. They are both decorated with you guessed it…geraniums during the summer months, and you can walk across each to inspect the design if you like, both are built from old and heavy timber and there’s some fine craftsmanship to be seen.
Old and beautiful buildings are everywhere, modern architecture has been designed to fit in well with the older structures I thought, the people of Thun seem to take great pride in they’re heritage and treasure these old windows into the past.
My favorite thing here in Thun is probably the Schloss Thun..a lovely old four turreted castle that looks like what “fairy tale” castles are supposed to be all about.
Construction of the Schloss or castle is thought to have started in about 1195 by Duke Berchtold V von Zähringen...who was also instrumental in the settling of Bern and Fribourg, two other cities that are located along the River Aare, Bern being the Capitol city of Switzerland
Here where the River Aare meets the shores on Lake Thun people have been living as long ago as 2500 BC.
The name Thun comes from a Celtic word “dunum” which roughly means “fortified hill” and is first mentioned in a documented reference as Lake Thun in the 7th Century in the “chronicles” of the Fredegar. This is a re-counting of the history of Gaul between the years 584 until about 641.
From the website Thun.ch “In the Middle Ages a church and a castle stood on the Schlossberg, and there was a settlement on the Aare with a river crossing. Toward the middle of the 12th century the region belong to the Zähringen Rectorate of Burgundy. Before 1200 already the Dukes of Zähringen had built the present-day castle and expanded the city with the Hauptgasse to the Rathausplatz”, two distinct and separate areas of the Lower Town.
You can see that the history of Thun and this area of Switzerland is long and storied and because of this and the simple beauty of the city, walking the streets of Thun will always be a thrill to me.
My first visit here to Thun was almost totally dedicated to investigating the Schloss or Castle of Thun and walking various walkways along the river and a quick stroll along the Obere Hauptgasse..a commercial street with an elevated sidewalk.
My second visit included another walk, a good hearty breakfast in a restaurant on the Muhleplatz, beside the river and a visit to the amazing Kirche Scherzligen and the Schloss or Chateau Schadau before I had to leave again. I can’t forget the Panoramaa that is close by to the Chateau Schadau, an amazingly detailed painting of the town of Thun painted in the early 1800’s.
The third time I visited here I arrived by boat from Interlaken, having taken a leisurely cruise on the Thunersee, stopping at all of the ports of call that the ferry makes along the way. I went straight to the Tourism Office located in the train station, got some good information from them for a self guided walking tour and stashed my gear, and managed a bit of time exploring the Lower Town before having to continue my journey by train to Fribourg.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Im always feeling like I want to explore more here in Thun, and I think the water transit and the towns that we stopped in briefly along that way have kind of set the itinerary for another journey to this beautiful small city in the Canton of Bern.
If you’re able to budget some time here than DON’T pass it by, you’d enjoy your time here as much as I do when I visit here! Im sure of that!
- Pros:Beautiful city...lots of cafes and a really interesting museum..
- Cons:I couldnt spend enough time here...
The Muhleplatz is located alongside the shore of the Innere Aare and is today an area that is occupied by a number of... more travel advice
If you're visiting on a summer day watch for the Aare River SURFERS....I happened to notice them on a recent visit on a... more travel advice
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