Stein-am-Rhein – Stories on Walls

One Sunday morning in September, I found myself with an entire day completely open before a late night flight from Zurich. Idly leafing through a book about Lake Constance in a kiosk, the page for Stein-am-Rhein just popped open. I had never heard the name before, but knew immediately I had to see it. So I hopped on the first train going that way.

Idyllic houses and hills by the Rhine River in Stein-am-Rhein, Switzerland

To get from Stein-am-Rhein’s railway station to the town proper, you must cross the Rhine. Luckily, I took a roundabout route – exploring the riverside and the quaint little alleys before I discovered Rathausplatz, the Market Square. After seeing that, it would have been hard to appreciate anything else.

The little square is considered the loveliest in all of Switzerland, and that’s saying something.

Town Hall Square, tall gabled houses with frescoes in Stein-am-Rhein, Switzerland

Ancient buildings covered in colourful frescoes surround the square. I ambled about staring at the walls, frequently bumping into strangers, all as distracted as I was. Everywhere, busy cameras buzzed. Like a celebrity had surprisingly popped out of a limo or something.

Town Hall Square, houses with elaborate frescoes in Stein-am-Rhein, Switzerland

If you’re ever in Stein-am-Rhein, take your time examining the frescoes in detail. I promise you’re in for a delight – and a few surprises.

Over here, two women in medieval costume chat pleasantly. Innocent enough… until you notice one of them is holding a severed man’s head in her hands.

Town Hall Square, houses with elaborate frescoes in Stein-am-Rhein, Switzerland

Over there, a naked woman is carrying a child. An endearing scene… until you spot her hooves and the tail sticking out from her plump bottom.

I had planned on staying an hour or so – but four hours later I was still walking around, bumping into people. Sadly, I had a plane to catch. Otherwise, this would have been a wonderful place to spend the night, hang at a pleasant Weinstube (pub), drink red wine and make up stories about the frescoes.

Update: For more on the fab frescoes of Stein-am-Rhein, see my article on Boots’n’All.

For more fun photos, head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox and DeliciousBaby.

Center map


24 Responses to “Stein-am-Rhein – Stories on Walls”

  1. jade 13 October 2011 0756 #

    I can see why it is considered the lovely square- it’s so pretty! I would love to spend an afternoon there.

  2. Muza-chan 13 October 2011 0756 #

    Beautiful place, I want to visit someday 🙂

  3. Laurel 13 October 2011 1037 #

    I love Stein am Rhein and the frescoes are spectacular! I have a similar post coming out in the next couple of weeks from when I was there. I had never heard of it either, but was visiting a friend in Schaffhausen who said I would love it and she was right.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 October 2011 1117 #

      @Laurel – I look forward to reading it 🙂

  4. RyukyuMike 13 October 2011 1234 #

    Stunning beauty. I want to go there !

  5. David Bennett 13 October 2011 1303 #

    The view from the lake looks almost painfully beautiful.

    Did you see the pale green glacier water in the rivers in the region?

    Lake Constance is where a pleasure boat rocked my little kayak on hire from a local boatyard and gave me visions of swimming for the shore 🙂

  6. Leigh 13 October 2011 1641 #

    It’s great when something spontaneous and unexpected turns out to be such a delight. Weren’t you lucky to open that book. And that town absolutely deserves a visit.What gorgeous frescos.

    I love Europe and the ease of public transit so you can make these spur of the moment decisions.

  7. Vera Marie Badertscher 13 October 2011 1711 #

    Thanks for giving us this detailed look at the murals at Stein am Rhein. I was completely fascinated by the painted buildings in Switzerlands’ old town areas.

  8. Cathy Sweeney 13 October 2011 1835 #

    What a wonderful surprise to come across Stein-am-Rhein. It looks like a place I’d love to visit, too. Beautiful frescos!

  9. Stein am Rhine is one of those villages that I have wanted to visit for a while. Looks as stunning as I thought! I believe you can take a boat to the falls from here too.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 14 October 2011 0356 #

      @Debbie – I think there’s a boat going Kreuzlingen > Stein am Rhein > Schaffhausen. I’m not sure the boat stops at the Falls or if you have to connect with a bus, though. It would certainly be a beautiful boat trip.

  10. Michael Figueiredo 14 October 2011 0423 #

    Those frescoes are absolutely stunning. I’d love to see them in person. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to!

  11. Cheryl Howard 14 October 2011 1054 #

    Love this post! And what a way to spend the day.


  12. Lucia 14 October 2011 1106 #

    What a beautiful discovery! We haven’t made it to Switzerland yet, but I am now adding this little spot to our growing list of places to visit. Good for you for getting out and spontaneously making the most of your time before jumping on your flight.

  13. Nancie 14 October 2011 1436 #

    That would be so much fun to visit. Great photos.

  14. Abby 14 October 2011 1525 #

    Trying to motivate to get to work, but I’d much rather be getting up to go see some buildings like those today! Beautiful.

  15. Ana 14 October 2011 1526 #

    Aren’t you glad you followed your instinct and decided to visit that gorgeous place? Sometimes acting on a whim produces incredible results 😉

  16. Sonja 14 October 2011 1549 #

    I absolutely love discovering new charming little towns in Europe. This one’s now added to my list. Two others on my Switzerland list: Murren and Gruyères.

  17. Tina 14 October 2011 1701 #

    Love those saucy frescos!

  18. Preparing For Takeoff 14 October 2011 1816 #

    Oh my gosh! So beutiful. Definitely one of the more stunning squares I have seen

  19. Sherry 14 October 2011 2119 #

    Oh, my goodness – these are fabulous! I could spend all day looking at the art and coming up with stories about what’s being depicted. You always seem to stumble upon the most curiously intriguing places.

  20. Andrea 15 October 2011 1800 #

    Switzerland has so much to offer – I want to spend more time there to visit places like these – beautiful!

  21. Jessica 16 October 2011 1633 #

    What a fascinating and beautiful city!

  22. The Travel Chica 17 October 2011 2124 #

    What a pleasant-looking town. Those spontaneous travel decisions are usually some of our best experiences.

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