Schaffhausen Tourist Attractions
Schaffhausen, capital of the canton of that name, situated close to the Untersee and north of the Rhine, is enclosed on three sides by Germany.
Its well preserved medieval town center and the picturesquely situated Kastell Munot make it one of the most interesting towns in Switzerland. Schaffhausen is also an important hub of communications and industrial town (iron and steel works, chemical plants, engineering works, clocks, textiles and playing cards).Schaffhausen grew up as a transshipment point for traffic on the Rhine, here interrupted by the Rhine Falls. In 1045 the Emperor Henry III granted Count Eberhard von Nellenburg the right to mint coins here, and about 1050 the Benedictine abbey of All Saints was founded. From 1330 to 1415 the town was mortgaged to the Habsburgs, and thereafter, until 1501, was a free Imperial city. In 1454 Schaffhausen concluded an alliance with the Confederation, of which it became a member in 1501. From 1798 to 1803 the town and canton were part of the Helvetian Republic.
In the heart of Schaffhausen's old town is the Fronwagplatz, with the Fronwag tower and two fountains, the Moor's fountain (Mohrenbrunnes, originally 1520) and the Metzgerbrunnen, 1524), which has a striking figure of a landsknecht (mercenary). To the north of the Fronwagplatz is the Vorstadt, with a whole series of houses with oriel windows and coats-of-arms on the facade, which ends at the Schwabentor (Swabian gate, 14th-16th C.); to the west the short Oberstadt, at the far end of which is the Obertor (upper Gate, originally 13th C.).
To the east of Fronwagplatz the long Vordergasse opens out into a square. On the right of the Vordergasse the 15th C. Rathaus (Council House), with the fine Chamber of the Great Council (Grossratssaal, 1632) and the Council Arcade (Ratslaube, 1586)
Haus zum Ritter
At the corner of Münstergasse in Schaffhausen is the colorful Haus zum Ritter (1485), with paintings on the facade by Tobias Stimmer (originals, 1570, removed in 1935, now in All Saints Museum; reproductions of 1938-39, restored 1943). Diagonally across the street the Late Gothic St John's church (Protestant) has an imposing tower.
In a spacious square south of Fronwagplatz, Herrenacker, are the old Kornhaus (Granary, 1679) and the Schaffhausen Municipal Theater (rebuilt 1956). In a small square immediately east, the Beckenstube, is situated the Cantonal Government Building (Regierungsgebäude), a skillful conversion of the old Arsenal (17th C.), with a magnificent doorway.
The Schaffhausen Minster (Münster), a pillared basilica with a single tower (1087-1150), was originally the church of the Benedictine abbey of All Saints and is now the Protestant parish church. The spacious nave, flat-roofed (restored 1950-58), is a fine example of Romanesque religious architecture. The sparse furnishings are modern; near the altar, a simple wooden table, stand the bronze font and wooden pulpit. In the apse are three stained-glass windows and a large tapestry. The choir contains remains of old wall-paintings. Outside the Minster, on the north side, is a bronze figure of David with Goliath's head (by K. Geiser, 1959). On the south side the cloister (freely accessible) has delicate 12th C. arcades.
In the forecourt of St Anne's chapel, adjoining the Schaffhausen Minster on the east, is the famous Hosanna Bell (Osannaglocke), cast in 1486, with a Latin inscription ("Vivos voco, mortuos plango, fulgura frango" - "I call the living, I mourn the dead, I quell the lightning") which inspired a well-known poem by Schiller, the "Song of the Bell" ("Das Lied von der Glocke").
All Saints Museum
The handsome conventual buildings of the Schaffhausen abbey now house All Saints Museum (Museum zu Allerheiligen), one of the richest local museums in Switzerland, with collections of prehistoric material (mainly from the Kesslerloch at Thayngen), works of religious art (the finest of them in the "Treasury" in the Abbot's Room), a series of rooms furnished in period style, weapons, relics of the old guilds, traditional costumes, a comprehensive collection of playing-cards, etc., and a large picture gallery, notable in particular for the works by modern Swiss artists. Of the old conventual buildings St Erhard's chapel (1104), St John's chapel (1064), a Romanesque loggia (1200) and the Kreuzsaal (ca. 1620) are noteworthy.
Contemporary Art Museum
The Hallen für neue Kunst is a museum of contemporary art, which offers major works by international artists from the 1960's - 1980's in a refurbished textile factory
To the east, dominating Schaffhausen on a vine-clad hill is Kastell Munot (1564-89), a circular structure designed in accordance with Dürer's principles of fortification, with walls more than 5 m/16ft thick and vaulted gunports below. The principal tower has a ramp in place of a staircase to allow supplies to be carried up to the artillery. From the battlements there is a fine view of the town.
The Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen have been considered the mightiest Falls in the region of Central Europe.
The museum in the complex of the former Benedictine monastery contains archaeological finds, church treasures, a natural history section and an art collection featuring works from the Middle-Ages to the present.
This day-long festival takes place in early or mid-June.
Map of Schaffhausen Attractions