Close to the south-western corner of Germany and the Bodensee (Lake Constance), you can find a real jewel – the small town Stein am Rhein.
How we chose to explore Stein am Rhein
Not far from the Bodensee, the Rhine Falls attract many tourists. The nearby city Schaffhausen also offers some great sights. Thus the tiny town Stein am Rhein, which is very close to the German border at Lake Constance, can easily be overlooked. We had never really heard of it until we recently received a recommendation from a friend who lives in the area. He gave us this tip on the splendid panorama terrace of the Restaurant Seegarten in the German town Allensbach at Lake Constance. From here you can also see Switzerland. Our friend praised Stein am Rhein as the most beautiful city of the Bodensee area. So we did not hesitate to pay a visit to the town only two weeks later. And the trip was so much worth it. We were really impressed. Here we discovered not only a pretty jewel, but also a new piece of Switzerland.
I felt excited by the views of this town in a special way. I also felt comfortable and wanted to stroll and linger. Places like this make me want to write a “My Camera Loves” article.
Colorful houses in Stein am Rhein
Stein am Rhein looks like it just jumped from a illustrated book. The old town center is beautifully preserved. The most beautiful houses of Stein am Rhein can be found around the town hall square. Their facades are decorated with wonderful paintings. They show different motifs and the houses are named after the theme of their frescoes. There are e.g. houses named as “Sun” or as “Red Oxen”. The oldest façade paintings date back to the 16th century and show scenes of Bocaccios Decamerone (House “White Eagle”). Besides there is half-timbered architecture all around. I just love to take pictures of these houses or in other words: I go to where I find them and collect them in albums.
We were lucky to watch a live performance of traditional Alphorn blowers in front of the town hall. These are often associated with Switzerland. For me it was a special highlight.
Ancient town located at the river
The area of Stein am Rhein was already settled in the Roman period. As you enter the city through one of the beautiful gates, you feel a little moved into the Middle Ages. On the bridge of the river Rhine near the old town you can observe children, who boldly jump into the water and then swim to the shore. Near the old town you can also find a busy river bath. Who doesn’t like to swim can rent a canoe or just walk along the picturesque shore. The municipality of Stein am Rhein is blessed with water. Besides its river location, it also has access to Lake Constance. In places located at the water, I always feel very comfortable.
Wonderful Slow-Life Feeling
What makes a town feel like slow-life? At first a peaceful atmosphere and the absence of too much traffic. The town hall square was quite crowded during our visit in summertime. This is understandable, because the house paintings are magnificent and offer excellent photo scenes. But if you turn into one of the picturesque cobbled lanes, Stein am Rhein feels quite different. Here are many pretty houses too, often decorated with flowers. Many flowers grow in Stein am Rhein in summer, and almost every house has pretty window shutters. I like window shutters very much and I always find it interesting how different they look in different regions. In Stein am Rhein I noticed, that they often use sun motifs. As an enthusiastic photographer of architectural details this was my place to be.
I have experienced Stein as particularly idyllic around the Fronhof square. There is also a bench for taking some rest next to a pretty fountain.
Stein am Rhein from above
Picturesque vineyards adorn the hills of Stein am Rhein. It is nice to walk up there. In the middle of idyllic nature lies the quite well-preserved ruin of the medieval castle Hohenklingen at just 600 meters altitude. There is also a restaurant. The view from the castle is fantastic. Up here it becomes very clear: Stein am Rhein must have fallen straight out of a fairy tale book.
If you like my article, you might also be interested in my post about the beautiful village of Limone on Lake Garda / Italy.
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