Disentis, History in the Shadows of the Swiss Alps

When flying cross Switzerland on Google Earth, it is remarkable how few routes there are through the Alpine Chain. The town of Disentis occupies a strategic position with an Abbey dating from AD 720. Being on the route the German emperors took to Italy, it became so important that the Chief Abbott of the religious community was also the Lord of the Rhine Valley.

Visiting Disentis Switzerland

Visiting Disentis Switzerland

Idyllic Setting Midst Peaceful Mountains

The Disentis Switzerland setting is a spectacular landscape where eagles soar, and paragliders compete with airplanes for the finest views. The hiking is incredible with 150 kilometres (90 miles) of trails to follow through pristine forests. In winter, 6 lifts ferry skiers to an altitude of 2,800 meters (9,000 feet), from where they can look back down to restaurants, hotels and holiday apartments offering a total of 10,000 beds.

Visiting Disentis Switzerland
Disentis Valley: Photo Claudio Vosti / CC SA 2.0

The Best Time to Visit Disentis Switzerland

The best times to visit are out of season in early spring and late autumn, because history is present all year round. The magnificent monastery building survived plundering by Napoleon’s army in 1799, and the 19th Century dissolution of the monasteries. The printing presses the marauding soldiers destroyed were melted down to become the organ pipes in the amazing Disentis Abbey Church. Do take time to soak up the atmosphere.

Visiting Disentis Switzerland
Disentis Abbey Church

It Doesn’t Get More Swiss Than This

The ancient town in which the Abbey stands is about as Swiss as you can get. It has many other attractions such as the Basilica of St Gada, the Chapel of St Luzi in Disla, the Chapel of S. Maria in Acletta and the covered Punt Russein bridge which is an engineering marvel. All that talk of snow has made me hungry. Now let me see, what shall I eat tonight.

I think I’ll go for a neuchâteloise crab fondue, made with gruyère and emmentaler cheeses with a refreshing salad on the side. To go with it, I’ll order some crisps for tasty dips and a glass of Chasselas white wine to wash it down. Ah, the joys of travelling!

Visiting Disentis Switzerland
Crab Fondue: Photo Stu Spivack / CC SA 2.0

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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