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Is Stein am Rhein One of the Most Charming Towns in Switzerland?

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With little more than 3,000 inhabitants, Stein am Rhein may well be a small village but it is remarkable for the concentration of well preserved medieval buildings within such a compact area. 

The jewel in the crown is the Rathausplatz – the square of the City Hall – whose entire perimeter is lined by old houses with magnificent painted façades. Every house has a different architectural structure, the subjects and colors of the murals vary, but the harmony is such that it is close to perfection.

Stein am Rhein, Painted Houses

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Unfortunately, when I visited part of the square was being set up with bleachers for an event, and part of the view was hidden. Notwithstanding, I was spellbound. I loved the painted facades in Lucerne and was not expecting the ones in Stein am Rhein to be even more beautiful. Most of all, I was stunned by the elegance of the drawings, the tasteful combination of colors,  and the perfect proportions between the architectural elements.

Being hopelessly curious I would have liked to know more about the architecture and the stories told by the frescoes. When I travel I am first driven by instinct, but then I like to understand the frame and the background of what I’m admiring. That’s where it got difficult because I could find very little information online, and what little was mostly in German.

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