Solothurn, on the River Aare at the south foot of the Jura mountain range, is also known as St. Ursen City, Wengi City, the City of Ambassadors, Switzerland's most beautiful baroque city, and the city of culture.
The name "St.Ursen City" recalls the legend of the two Roman legionnaires, Urs and Victor, who were beheaded in Solothurn due to their Christian beliefs. In honour of their martyrdom and the associated miracles, both were declared city saints. St. Ursen Cathedral dominates the city skyline and is its emblem.
Solothurn's history dates back to Roman times. As early as 350 BC the Romans built their "Castrum Salodurum", a bell-shaped walled fort. The remains can still be seen at Friedhofplatz and in Löwengasse.
Solothurn is a German speaking town but communication in French and English is possible in the city center.
Solothurn is served by one of the most efficient passenger rail services in the world, the Swiss Federal Rail (SBB) system. Trains run roughly each half-hour between 4AM and 1AM every day to and from Geneva, Zurich, Bern, and points in between.
Solothurn is also connected by boat to the bilingual town of Biel/Bienn. Boats by the BSG take 2 hours 50 minutes to complete the journey between the two towns an leave two (Spring/Fall) or three (Summer) times a day.
The town is small enough to be easily explored on foot. The old town is north of the train station, across the river.
- The cathedral st. Urs and Victor and its tower which can you can go up.
- The clock tower and the rest of the old town.
- Einsiedelei im Verenaschlucht (Hermitage in the Verena gorge) , which you can reach in a 45-minute walk north of the city. It's located in a forest and is a beautiful place to walk around, especially in the evenings when candles are lit and placed in between the rocks throughout. Look for signposts and ask around. Please don't abuse this off-the-beaten-path gem and keep it quiet and peaceful as it is a path of meditation.
- Solothurner torte, a dessert with creme sandwiched between two biscuits. You're bound to like this if you like the Luxemburgerli of Sprungli in Zurich.
This page was last edited at 12:15, on 25 January 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Ryan Holliday and David Le Brun, Wikitravel user(s) Episteme and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.