Rapperswil Tourist Attractions
The old-world little town of Rapperswil is picturesquely situated on a peninsula on the north side of Lake Zurich, which is crossed at this point by a causeway 1,000 m/3,281ft long. The town appears to have been founded about 1200, and first appears in the records in 1229. The line of the Counts of Rapperswil died out at an early stage. In 1358 Duke Rudolf built a wooden bridge over the lake, which stood until 1878, when it was replaced by a masonry-walled causeway carrying the road and railroad. From 1415 to 1464 Rapperswil was a free Imperial city and in 1803 it was incorporated in the canton of St Gallen.
Schlossberg Castle & Town Square
In the main square of Rapperswil stands the tall Town Hall (1471), with a richly carved door at the entrance to the council chamber. The town library and a cultural forum are housed in the adjoining Haus Zum Pfauen.From the square a broad flight of steps leads up to the Schlossberg (Castle Hill) or Endingerhügel (436 m/1,431ft), with the 15th C. parish church (restored 1887; two massive east towers) on the right and the imposing 13th C. castle on the left. The castle, on a triangular plan, with a keep and two other towers (restored 1988-89) was built by the Counts of Rapperswil and from the middle of the 15th C. was the seat of the Confederate governors.
Opening hours: Closed: Tue
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Rapperswil's 13th C castle houses the Polenmuseum which highlights the relationship between Switzerland and Poland and commemorates famous Polish emigrants such as such as Chopin, Copernicus and Marie Curie.
Hintergasse (old arcades & shops)
Three rows of houses run down to the Rapperswil lakeside, among them are Marktgasse and Hintergasse with attractive old arcades and neat little shops.
Lindenhof & Deer Park
From the Lindenhof, Rapperswil's tree-lined west bastion, there are charming views of the town and the lake. On the north side of the hill is the Hirschgarten (Deer Park).
There is a pretty little harbor in Rapperswil with a dock for the lake boat services. Two wall-paintings on "Curti- Haus" (private) in the Engadinergasse commemorate the destruction of the town by the Zurich mayor Rudolf Brun and later the town's entry into the Confederation. Close by the lakeside is the "Heilig Hüsli" (ca. 1600) which was part of the wooden bridge built in 1358, replaced by a stone dam in the 19th C.
On the western promontory of Rapperswil is a Capuchin friary (founded 1605), with a rose-garden.
Knie National Circus (Children's Zoo)
On Rapperswil's Strandweg (lakeside road) south of the station, is a Children's Zoo belonging to the Knie National Circus, which is based in the town (dolphin show).
Late Night Festival
This annual two-day festival takes place in mid-August and includes fireworks displays.
Surrounding sights of Rapperswil include the villages of Huden, Ufenau and Toggenburg.
A road runs over the causeway (Seedamm) along the Hurden peninsula, via the fishing village of Hurden (chapel of 1497), to Pfäffikon, on the south side of Lake Zurich.
It is a 10-minute trip by motorboat or launch to the island of Ufenau (nature reserve; restaurant in old farm), which belonged to Einsiedeln abbey from 965 onwards (church and chapel of 1141). On Zwingli's advice the humanist Ulrich von Hütten sought refuge here in 1523, but died two weeks later; he is buried in the churchyard of the old parish church.
A lakeside road (10km/6mi) runs southeast from Rapperswil through the commune of Jona to Busskirch, with an old church, and continues to Wurmsbach, which has a former convent of Cistercian nuns (16th-17th C.), now housing a girls' boarding school. The road then continues via Bollingen to Schmerikon, at the end of the lake.
From Rapperswil road 8 runs east over the Ricken pass (805 m/2,641ft; beautiful view) into the Toggenburg district.
Gruningen is located in the canton of Zurich. The town received the Wakker Prize for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage in 1976.
Wetzikon is a small town located near Lake Pfäffikon. It is home to a gymnasium level learning institution, the Kantonschule Zürcher Oberland or "Kanti".
Local Museum, Ruti
The Rüti Local Museum has documents and photos that highlight local history.