Appenzell Tourist Attractions
Appenzell (alt. 780 m/2,560ft; pop. 5,000) has been since 1597 capital of the Roman Catholic half-canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden. The town center is well preserved, with fine old traditional houses. Interspersed among the painted wooden houses are stone buildings dating from the 16th C., including the Town Hall (local museum), the Schloss and the parish church of St Mauritius (nave of 1823). Also of interest are the Landesgemeindeplatz, the square on which the annual meeting of the community takes place, the churches of the nunnery and the Capuchin friary, Retonio's museum of mechanical musical instruments, the "Blaues Haus" private museum and the show cellar for Appenzeller cheese, belonging to the Züger firm.
Appenzell is the terminus of the Gaiserbahn from St Gallen and a station on the Appenzellerbahn from Gossau, which runs via Weissbad (alt. 820 m/2,690ft; pop. 1,500) to Wasserauen (alt. 872 m/2,861ft).
Cave and Chapel, Wildkirchli, Switzerland
From Appenzell there is a cableway to Ebenalp (1,644 m/5,394ft; inn), from which it is a 10-minute walk down through a 75 m/82yd-long cavern to the Wildkirchli (1,477 m/4,864ft; inn), a chapel in a cave which was inhabited by hermits from 1658 to 1853. In 1904 Palaeolithic implements and animal skeletons were found here. From Wasserauen there is a pleasant walk (one hour) to the Seealpsee (1,141 m/3,745ft) and from there to the Meglisalp (1,520 m/4,987ft; inn) with its little church of "Maria zum Schnee".
Festival of the Guardian Angel
On the second Sunday in July the Festival of the Guardian Angel is held in the Wildkirchli, a cave in the Alpstein mountain range. A service is held in the cave and then everyone walks to nearby Ebenalp or Aescher to eat, sing and dance for the rest of the day.
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