Scenic Switzerland Castles of Bellinzona – Historic Importance and brief
Castles of Bellinzona are a world Heritage site declared by UNESCO in the year 2000
There are in total 3 castles
was build during Roman emperor Augustus and later on rebuilt, during the reign of Constantin as a strategic defense move.
Now, what remains are the great wall of fortification and well maintained and looked after remains of what probably was a great big fort with magnificent walls surrounding the fort and the city inside the walls.
is so called because it is located on top a hill with same name. This castle offers the most magnificent views of the valley below and peaks of alps in the distance.
Castle Sasso Corbaro
is a square castle with a watch tower this was built i guess to keep an eye on the valley of Ticino.
All the three castles have different museums which can be visited on any day between normal work hours.
How to Reach
The City of Bellinzona is very easily reachable by train from Zurich, Lugano and also Milan.Correct trains and timetables can be looked at from here.After getting down at the train station, travelers can walk to city center. At the city center, there is a tourist information center which is English friendly and will guide the traveler on how to visit all the 3 different castles.
There is a toy train which charges 12 CHF per adult which takes the traveler around 2 castles of Montebello and Sasso Corbaro.Castle grande is reachable by elevators which are walkable from the city center
Duration and what to carry
All the castles can be visited in 2-3 hours if one uses the toy train for sightseeing the smaller castles. If you plan to walk up the hill, it will take about 6 hours for completing entire UNESCO site.
Don’t forget to carry a hat, goggles and a bottle of water if you are visiting in summer.Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes even if you plan to take the toy train. Sunscreen in general is very necessary in this part of the world during summer. In Winter, you have to wear proper warm clothing. It gets cold even on a clear day.
I was visiting Ticino for work and could only move around on weekends.While i was staying in Chiasso this day trip was by far the most interesting proposition in my thoughts.
I reached the Bellinzona train station and then struggled to reach the city center because not even a single persona was able to understand English. After asking 4 – 5 people for directions and failing to get them, I finally found a lady who could speak English but did not know the site and was not able to help me at all.So ask a few local people on what is the site called in Italian. If possible write down instructions in Italian so people can read it and help
The splendor of castles is immediately noticeable but the richness of forts and palaces that Indians are used to seeing locally is missing. Have minimum expectations because after all, it’s a European fort and not an Indian one. Visit this place for splendor and magnificent views
All the three forts have museums, but unfortunately, all information on art and history is provided in Italian. I had purchased the combined ticket for all 3 museums which costed me 15 CHF and was an utter waste.
If you prefer to download some app like “Image to Text” for translations. I had not done this so could not imbibe any richness of this magnificent site.