Olten Tourist Attractions
Olten, an important railroad junction, with the main workshops of the Swiss Federal Railroads, and a considerable industrial town (engineering), lies astride the river Aare at the foot of the Hauenstein (824 m/2,704ft), which commands extensive views.The place was founded by the Froburg family on the site of a Roman castrum and first appears in the records as a town in 1201.
From Olten road 2 runs south up the Aare valley, enclosed between wooded hills. It comes in 4km/2mi to Aarburg (415 m/1,362ft), a picturesque little town of 6,000 inhabitants situated above the junction of the Aare and the Wigger, with an 11th C. castle much altered in later centuries, now a penal establishment for young offenders.
Cistercian Abbey of St Urban
Southwest of Aarburg via Rothrist and Roggwil-Wynau stands the former Cistercian abbey of St Urban (founded 1184), in the northwest corner of the canton of Lucerne. The Baroque church (completed 1716) has a fine organ and richly carved choir-stalls, which were acquired by a foreign purchaser in 1854 but were later bought and returned to St Urban by the Gottfried Keller Foundation.
In Olten the handsome twin-towered parish church dates from 1806, the modern Stadthaus from 1966. An old covered wooden bridge leads into the Old Town, the most notable landmark of which is the Late Gothic tower of St Martin's church (demolished in 1844). The Old Town Hall (1701) now houses the municipal library.
Exhibitions pertaining to local and regional history can be found in the Olten Historical Museum.
Säli-Schössli (ruined castle)
On the Engelberg (667 m/2,188ft) is the "Säli-Schlössli", the ruined castle of Wartburg-Säli. A fire-watching post was established here in 1547, and remained the responsibility of the Säli family for 300 years.
The region's geology and paleontology is featured, plus amphibians, reptiles, fish, butterflies and native birds and mammals in their habitat.
North of Olten is the ruined castle of Froburg (excavations).