Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Big Surprise and a Trip to Murten

A very nice surprise

Just before I was about to go out for my Tuesday daytrip, the doorbell rang.

It was none other than Annemarie Sutter who surprised me with a very generous gift from her Mother who follows the blog and likes the pictures that I post.

She handed me the small packet seen above that was full of travel information and a ticket to the train up the Niederhorn, the Alp near our gamefield. Awesome!


Raphael Hadorn's article in today's
Thuner Tagblatt

The write up about the Tigers' victory over Luzern on Sunday was greatly appreciated by all of the Tigers and our fans.

Raphael Hadorn is THE best!!!


On June 22, 1476, Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, and 20,000 of his Burgundian troops were camped on a hill overlooking the village of Murten. They were laying siege to the town of 2,000 inhabitants and all had been going well for them.

Under the leadership of Murten's Adrian von Bubenberg, runners were sent out of Murten to neighboring villages seeking help in the impending battle. A total of 10,000 volunteers answered the call and formed an army to help against the Burgundians.

The still heavily outnumbered Swiss attacked Charles the Bold's troops as the Burgundians were still hungover from a big Midsummer Night's Eve party.

Laurie Contreras knows that feeling quite well I must say.

Thus started the Battle of Murten in a pouring rain with blood and mud everywhere. Almost all of the 20,000 Burgundians were killed, many driven into nearby Lake Murten with their heavy armor causing several drownings.

Charles was not so Bold as he escaped on a fast horse.

The Battle of Murton proved the advantages of a united front versus foreign invaders and was the beginning of getting the fiercely independent Swiss cantons into forming the Helvetic Confederation.

This battle marked the beginning of the end of Burgundy's power and the continued emergence of a new European nation . . . Switzerland!!!

Mural in the Thun Bahnhof

It is over the entrance to a restaurant in Thun's train station. I've never eaten in this restaurant but I lie their mural.

The Thun castle is in the background, I wonder who these people are in this boat on Lake Thun?

Given the surprise tickets, today's history lesson and a need to post pictures for Momma Sutter's enjoyment, I boarded a train bound for Murten via Berne.

Murten Castle

It is now Murten's Police Headquarters. Murten is still a walled city housing 5,000 souls on a bluff overlooking Lake Murten and the rolling vineyards of Mont Vully across the lake.

Lake Murten and Mont Vully

Murten Castle Wall Flower

Police HQ

The Tower of Murten?

1882 Cannon

Clock above the Berne Gate

Sun Dials are GREAT . . .

Unless they are in the shade

The invention of Daylight Savings Time doesn't help either.

Wavy Glass Windows

The Berne Gate as seen from the French Church that was built from 1478 to 1480.

Adrian von Bubenberg
The Hero of the Battle of Murten

Drum Roll, Please

What are those three things
stuck in the City wall?

Cannon Balls!

These were left in the City Wall after the Battle of Murten to remind the people of their great victory over the Burgundians. This whole affair was like the Alamo with a happy ending.

The Murten Library

The Ludothek is an interesting concept. Besides lending the usual books, tapes and DVDs, the Ludothek portion lends toys for children to use thus saving budget minded families untold sums of Swiss Francs.

Adrian von Bubenberg

In the red, being adored by his soldiers. This stained glass window is located in the post-Reformation Protestant German Church erected in 1710.

Also in the German Church

Murten sits on the border between the French speaking canton of Fribourg and the German speaking canton of Berne. For over 400 years its rule was shared by the two adjoining cantons. Every five years, rule was flipped between Fribourg and Berne.

In 1800, Napolean put an end to this shared ruling and squarely placed Murten into Fribourg's sphere of influence where it remains to this day.

No computer lasers when this was carved

The uniformity of Medieval Murten

I am now walking the ramparts of the City Wall with great views of both the city and the surrounding countryside.

The German Church's Roof

It represents the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi, not the Star of David.

The view from one turret to another

The Divided Forest

This is where the Duke of Burgundy's 20,000 men were camped on the day of the fateful Battle of Murten.

Medieval Buildings

Old School Murten

The Rampart Ramble

Grape Vines

This is Swiss wine country.

Interesting New Fountain
in the courtyard of the 1886 Catholic Church

This church is located just outside of the City Wall.

City Wall Construction

The wall was built over several years and during different economic times.

The first phase was built with large river stones. Later, when the village ran out of money, pebbles and rubble were mixed with a rough concrete mix to create the middle portion of the wall. Finally, when the town was prospering again, the wall was finished with finely cut sandstone.

Hauptgasse, a.k.a., Main Street Murten

A delightful, colorful arcaded street with lots of eating places, fun little shops . . .

And three nice fountains

Further proof of the impending Irish
invasion of the Continent!!!

Yep, Wine Country it is!

I'm hungry

A Quiche Lorraine, a slice of Nidlechueche and a bottle of Rivella should do the trick.

Nidlechueche is a local sweet, doughy cream tart and Rivella is the Swiss national soft drink.

And so good for me too!

Tulips in full bloom

They are not only Holland's favorite flower

Heraldry Time

I found these in the French Church.

German Church

German Church

German Church

German Church

German Church

Nice fish.

Cool Business Signs

Heraldry AND a Business Sign


Love the two headed eagle

The crest of the Habsburgs, I believe.

After a splendid afternoon in Murten, I boarded the train back to Thun but decided to stay in Berne for a bit as I had not been there since my first week in Switzerland.

Colorful Streets

The flags were out, Spring was in the air and people were out and about.


Water jets next to the Nation's Parliament Building.

I love Berne's Clocks

Including the famed Zytglogge-Turm

Atop a fountain

Berne Bears supporting . . .

The Chindlifresser

The child eating ogre of Berne, be good kids.


The Einstein Café

One of my favorite stops in Berne.

And so good for me too!!!

Time to go home

I enjoyed another great day in Helvetic Confederation!

Thanks again Momma Sutter!!!


David said...

The lack of photographic evidence of the Nidlechueche leads me to believe it must be REALLY good for you.

Ryan Bolland said...

Is that a delicious fika complete with kladdkaka and cream?!