Solothurn, Switzerland

The Old Town of Solothurn reflects its early 16th century origins. It contains a mix of historical architecture, squares, city gates and statues and then is crowned by an 18th century cathedral.

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1 Saint Ursus Fountain and Cathedral in Solothurn, Switzerland

Ursus is the patron saint of Solothurn, Switzerland. He was a Roman Christian who was beheaded in 286 AD for refusing to worship false gods, along with Saint Victor and 66 other soldiers who had converted to Christianity together. This fountain in Marktplatz, which was created in 1545 by Albrecht von Nürnberg, shows the saint in his Theban Legion uniform. In the background is the Cathedral of St. Ursus where he is buried.

Hauptgasse 47 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

2 Cathedral of St. Ursus and Basle Gate in Solothurn, Switzerland

Up this staircase is the Cathedral of St. Urs and Viktor, a magnificent Roman Catholic church that was finished in 1773. Its Baroque and Neo-classical style, with Corinthian columns and a copper dome above the bell tower, was built with white Jura limestone. On the left is Basel Gate, which was built in the early 16th century as the eastern entrance to the fortified town.

St. Ursen-Kathedrale Seilergasse 4, 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

3 Cathedral of St. Ursus Organ in Solothurn, Switzerland

This is the impressive main organ of the Cathedral of St. Ursus. It was built by Ferdinand Viktor Bosshard and installed in 1772. It was rebuilt in 1942 and again in 1975 but the pipes are original. It is located at the western end of the nave vault of this Roman Catholic church.

St. Ursen-Kathedrale Seilergasse 4, 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

4 Moses Fountain Detail in Solothurn, Switzerland

Solothurn is blessed with eleven elaborate fountains. Many of them were made in the 16th century by Hans Gieng. He also created similar ones in Bern. However, this Moses Fountain in front of the Cathedral of St. Ursus was sculpted by Johann Baptist Babel in the 18th century. It shows the Biblical figure with his baton creating water that runs down a seashell basin.

St. Ursen-Kathedrale Seilergasse 4, 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

5 Biel Gate Clock Tower in Solothurn, Switzerland

The historic part of Solothurn sits on the left bank of the Aare River. A 17th century wall surrounds the colorful Baroque and Renaissance buildings. This clock tower is part of the 13th century Biel Gate. It is the western entrance to the Old Town’s cobblestone streets. It is also called Bieltor. This means the gate towards the town of Biel.

Gurzelngasse 38, 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

6 Evangelical Reformed Church in Solothurn, Switzerland

The Reformed branch of Protestantism, known as the Reformation, began in Switzerland in the 1520s. Today, the Reformed Churches are organized by canton. This is the Reformierte Stadkirche Solothurn or, in English, the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Solothurn. I enjoyed all of the delicate, arched reliefs within the columns of the church.

Reformierte Stadtkirche Solothurn Nordringstrasse 14, 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

7 The Landhaus on Aare River in Solothurn, Switzerland

The Landhaus, which is built along the banks of the Aare River in Solothurn, used to be a landing and warehouse for wine merchants. After it was heavily destroyed by a fire in 1955, it was rebuilt and is now an event center and a café bar.

Landhausquai 4 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

8 Marktplatz Square in Old Town of Solothurn, Switzerland

Marktplatz is the main square in Solothurn, Switzerland, which began as a Roman settlement named Salodurum. During your visit, notice the unique way they have commemorated becoming the eleventh canton of the Swiss Confederation in 1481. Within the old town there are 11 fountains, 11 churches and 11 towers. And the Cathedral of St. Ursus in the background has 11 bells and 11 altars.

Marktpl. 54 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland

9 Zeitglockenturm Astronomical Clock Close Up in Solothurn, Switzerland

The oldest landmark in Solothurn is the clock tower. Zeitglockenturm has stood proudly in Marktplatz, the center of Old Town, since the 13th century. This beautiful astronomical clock, by Von Lorenz Liechti and Joachim Habrecht, was added in 1545. As its golden hands move around the painted Zodiac signs, it not only tells the hour and minutes but also the day, month and year.

Hauptgasse 46 4500 Solothurn, Switzerland