Laufen Castle is a castle in the municipality of Laufen-Uhwiesen in the Swiss canton of Zurich. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance overlooking the Rhine Falls.
The first documented reference to the castle dates to the year 858 when it was the home of the Barons of Laufen. It passed through several owners until the Old Zürich War (1439-1450) when the castle was acquired by the Fulach family, from whom the city of Zurich bought the castle in 1544. Following the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803) the castle was once again in private ownership, with the city of Zurich reacquiring the castle by buying it again in 1941.
The castle now serves as a tourist attraction, and contains a restaurant and a youth hostel. Between 2009 and 2010 a project was undertaken to restore and expand the facilities, including a visitors’ centre situated in the former staff quarters, an exhibition in the northern part of the castle, and a wheelchair-accessible circular walkway with glass lift between castle and river levels. Laufen is overlooking Wörth Castle, on the opposite side of the Rhein river, in the Canton of Schaffhausen.
The Rheinfall railway line passes through a tunnel under the castle, halting at the Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall station to the south of the tunnel and beneath the castle walls. The station is linked to the castle by a walkway.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.