Neuchatel Journals

Neuchâtel, the city of 140 fountains

A May 2003 trip to Neuchatel by Tolik

Neuchâtel Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland More Photos
Quote: Located by the largest lake entirely in Switzerland, the capital Neuchâtel is a historical city dominated by remarkably well preserved medieval town. The impressive castle and Collegiale Church date back to the 12th century. Beautiful fountains, charming 17th-century mansions, and amazing modern sculpture live in a perfect harmony here.

Neuchâtel, the city of 140 fountains

Overview

Neuchâtel Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
Neuchâtel lies at the border of a lake of the same name and the foot of the green slopes of Chamount (1161m). Many of the 17th- and 18th-century buildings are made from local yellow sandstone, a fact which led Alexandre Dumas to describe Neuchâtel as looking "like a toytown carved out of butter". With its 11 hectares, the Neuchâtel’s pedestrian zone is the largest in Europe in proportion to the number of inhabitants. Quick Tips: You need a day or at least four hours to visit magnificent Château, impressive Cathedral, the famous art museum, and enjoy the marvelous view from the lake's shore.Best Way To Get Around: Neuchâtel’s train station is on Rue de la Gare, high abo...Read More

Resort Ste Croix / Les Rasses

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Hotel

Resort Ste Croix / Les Rasses Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
Best things about the resort: great location, excellent accommodation, and outstanding service. The relaxing holiday resort is situated on a sunny terrace sheltered by the slopes of the Chasseron in the place called Les Petites Roches (The Small Rocks). The Interhome office which handles the resort, is in the center of Ste-Croix, in front of Le Coop supermarket (rue Neuve 6). The office usually is open from 8am to noon and from 2 to 4pm, but if you tell at what time you will arrive, the friendly and efficient staff can wait for you later in the afternoon. Upon our arrival, they provided us with complete information about the town, the resort and the area giving also numerous booklets and maps. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2003

Resort Ste Croix / Les Rasses
Les Petites Roches
Neuchatel, Switzerland
(024) 454-2702

The Château

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Attraction

The Château Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
The highlights of the Old Town were built on the very top of the hill. We walked along the Rue de la Gare, turned at Rue des Berkles, then at rue de l’Ecluse. It was a rainy morning, with occasional spell of hail. Nevertheless, we climbed up all the way to the Château and it was worth the effort. The castle was begun in the 12th century and still in use as the offices of the cantonal government: entry is free but only on guided tours, which start from the sign-posted Door No. 1. The nearby gloomy Tour des Prisons, remains of a medieval bastion, has panoramic views over the town, along with interesting models of Neuchâtel in different eras. If you do not have time to climb the tower the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2003

The Château
The Old Town
Neuchatel, Switzerland

The Collégiale church Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
Next to the Château, on the spacious square, you will find the Collégiale church (open daily 8am–6pm). This huge yellow building, a wonderful example of early Gothic, was begun in 1185. The Collegial Church, served by a College of Canons and dedicated to the Virgin, was consecrated in 1276. If you walk from Rue du Château, the stairs bring you up to the east end of the church, with its three Norman apses. The main entrance, from the Château side, is crowned by a giant rose window of stained glass. Within the vaulted interior, the nave brings you to the glowing transept, lit by a lantern tower, and the unique Cenotaph of the Counts of Neuchâtel on the north wall of the choir. Begun...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2003

The Collégiale church
The Old Town
Neuchatel, Switzerland

The Musée d'Art et Histoire

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Attraction | "The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire"

The Musée d'Art et Histoire Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire is open Tues–Sun 10am–5pm, Thurs until 9pm; CHF7, free on Wed, but only 1pm–5pm. You will not miss the museum –- right on Esplanade Léopold-Robert there are several modern monuments (you can see one on the picture). If you love the arts than Musée d’Art et d’Histoire is a must to see. The ground floor is devoted to the historical collections. Upstairs are the rooms devoted to fine art, which have been organized by theme, with the various rooms called Nature, Civilization, The Sacred, etc. You will find here Corot, Monet, Pissaro, Renoir, Sisley, just to name a few. But the most unusual exhibits are kept in a room at the rear of the ground fl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2003

The Musée d'Art et Histoire
Esplanade Léopold-Robert
Neuchatel, Switzerland

The Old Town Walking Tour

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Attraction

The Old Town Walking Tour Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
From the Château, we walked down along Rue du Chateau into the downtown. Neuchâtel’s Old Town is very attractive, and random wandering through its steep alleys is a good way to appreciate the golden beauty of the architecture, as well as the 140 or so street fountains, a handful of which date from the 16th Century. First one on this tour -- the Griffin Fountain (1664) stands on Rue du Chateau. The fountain is famous thanks to Henri II of Orleans who in 1667 had it filled with 1,300 gallons of red wine to honor his entry into Neuchâtel. A two-minute walk east and you reach Rue de l’Hôpital, were is the Fountain of Justice (1547). Further ahead is the magnificent 1790 Hôtel de V...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2003

The Old Town Walking Tour
Downtown
Neuchatel, Switzerland

Place Pury

Attraction

Place Pury Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
Neuchâtel is focused around Place Pury, at the foot of the Old Town on a stretch of flat ground. It’s a hub of buses –- you will take a ride to the train station from here. If you are ready for a picnic on the beautiful lakeshore, keep in mind that two supermarkets are a stone's throw away -- EPA supermarket at Rue de la Place d’Arua and Co-op on Rue de la Treille. The square itself is overlooked by fine Louis XIV architecture – shuttered facades and the turreted orioles of the 16th century Maison des Halles. On the opposite side of the square, you will see a lovely modern monument. Nearby, along rue due Moulins, there are two perfect specimens of the Louis XIII period. A five-minute wal...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2003

Place Pury
Downtown
Neuchatel, Switzerland

Wedding Present

Attraction | "The Wedding Present"

Wedding Present Photo, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Quote:
In 1011, Rudolf III of Burgundy presented a new castle (neu-châtel) on the lakeshore to his wife Irmengarde. He died in around 1149. His successor, Ulrich II, and his wife Bertha, decided to build a collegiale church near their castle. It took a hundred years to complete. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary on 8 November 1276. In 1214 the count’s domain was officially dubbed a city. For three centuries, the Earldom of Neuchâtel flourished, and in 1530, the people of Neuchâtel accepted the Reformation, and their city and territory were proclaimed to be indivisible from then on. On the death of their princess, Marie de Nemours (1707) the people of Neuchâtel asked the European prince...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2003

Wedding Present
Old Town
Neuchatel, Switzerland