High Rhine Driving Tour, Rhine River
This driving tour along the High Rhine begins in Basle and winds up in Lake Constance.
Basel - Start of High Rhine Driving Tour
The first place of any size on the High Rhine driving tour is Rheinfelden (alt. 277m/909ft), a little town of 7,000 inhabitants beautifully situated on the left bank of the river facing the southern slopes of the Black Forest. It is a popular salt-water spa, with two indoor salt-water baths. The water has one of the highest salt contents in Europe. The waters of the springs are drunk for medicinal purposes. The attraction of Rheinfelden lies in its picturesque old town, with ancient walls and towers rising above the rapidly flowing river. Notable features are the Town Hall (16th-18th C.) and St Martin's church (15th C., with Baroque interior). In the Haus zur Sonne (12 Marktgasse) is the Fricktaler Museum (local history).
Stein - Town and covered wooden bridge
At Rheinfelden, cross the Rhine and take a secondary road which runs north of the highway to Möhlin and the village of Stein, where it joins road 7. Bad Säckingen, opposite on the north bank of the river, can be reached by the longest covered wooden bridge in Europe.
East of Stein is Laufenburg (318m/1,043ft; pop. 2,000), opposite the German town, also called Laufenburg, on the north bank (bridge, with border control), at one of the most beautiful spots in the Rhine valley between Basle and Lake Constance, framed by wooded hills. The town has a tall Late Gothic parish church (1489) with a beautiful interior. After an attractive bend in the valley the road continues via Leibstadt (to the north of which a nuclear power station is under construction) to a bridge over the Aare (5.5km/3mi), just above its junction with the Rhine. Opposite, on the north bank, is the German town of Waldshut. Beyond the bridge a road goes off on the right to Brugg (Berne, Lucerne).
The Schaffhausen road runs from Leibstadt to Koblenz (321m/1,053ft), an important road junction near the confluence (hence its name - Latin Confluentia) of the Aare and the Rhine. From here road 7 runs via Winterthur and St Gallen to Rorschach. The Schaffhausen road turns left over the Rhine bridge (border control) into Germany. In 6km/4mi, road 7 reaches Zurzach.
Zurich - Reuenthal Fortress Museum
This camouflaged fort is the only modern Swiss fort. Built between 1937-39 to prevent the Germans from crossing into Switzerland, its interior remains remarkably well preserved and contains unique firearms display.
Zurzach (342 m/1,122ft; pop. 3,500) is situated on the site of the Roman fort of Tenedo, a little town which was formerly a considerable river port, noted for its fairs, and is now a well-known spa. The hot springs (40 deg C/104 deg F), the spa facilities (including three outdoor swimming pools) the Turm Hotel and the Rheumatic clinic lie west of the town. Zurzach has a number of fine old burghers' houses and a church of the 10th and 14th centuries (sarcophagus of St Verena, 1603, in crypt; tombstone of a Roman legionary of first century A.D. built into wall). Opposite Zurzach (bridge) is the German village of Rheinheim.The road, signposted to Winterthur, continues along the left bank of the Rhine and in 12km/7mi reaches the old-world town of Kaiserstuhl.
August Deusser Museum
Kaiserstuhl (350m/1,148ft), with a massive 13th century tower and a Gothic church, is picturesquely situated above the Rhine opposite the German village of Hohentengen (bridge). Road 7 then leaves the Rhine and comes to Glattfelden.
Glattfelden (359 m/1,178ft) is situated on the River Glatt just above its junction with the Rhine. This was the home town of the Swiss writer Gottfried Keller and is frequently referred to in his novel "Der grüne Heinrich".At a crossroads 2km/1mi farther on, where the right-hand road runs south to Zurich, turn left to cross the Rhine on a stone bridge into the picturesque old town of Eglisau.
Gottfried Keller Center
An arts center whose focus is the works of artist Gottfried Keller.
The picturesque town of Eglisau (360 m/1,181ft) has a 18th C. church situated on a higher road. From here the road cuts across the Ratzer Feld, an area surrounded on three sides by Germany, and a projecting finger of German territory linked with the district of Waldshut only by a narrow corridor. To the east of the German village of Jestetten is the small Swiss town of Rheinau.
A history of Rhine salmon fishery plus the history of small town construction.
Shaffhausen - Rheinau (Rhine Falls)
Rheinau is almost completely enclosed within a loop in the river, where there is a dam on the Rhine (motorboats to the Rhine-Falls). The sumptuously appointed Baroque church (1705) belonged to a Benedictine abbey founded in the ninth century and dissolved in 1862.From Jestetten the road runs northeast into Switzerland again to the industrial town of Neuhausen, at the Rhine Falls.3km/2mi farther on is Schaffhausen.From Schaffhausen take road 13, which runs 10km/6mi east to Diessenhofen.