Architecture of Switzerland
Notre Dame in Lausanne
Switzerland has a couple of the world's best preserved
examples of Carolingian architecture, which was a pre-Romanesque style that thrived
from about 780-900 AD in the Frankish Empire. The Convent of St. John (c. 780) in
Mustair and the Convent of St. Gall (c. 700s) in St. Gallen are both excellent examples
of this style.
After this, the Gothic style flourished in parts of Switzerland.
Notre Dame Cathedral in Lausanne (1170-1240) is a great example in Gothic as are
a few cities in whole or in part. Berne's old town was greatly developed in
the 1100s, but has buildings in various styles since; the city of Bellinzona, most
notably their three castles (primarily built in the 1300s-1400s) are also from the
Gothic time period; finally, Zurich has a number of structures in the Gothic style,
including Munsterhof area and the bordering Fraumunster Church.
There is little Renaissance or Baroque architecture in Switzerland
and, not surprisingly, most of it is located in the Italian-speaking
part of the country. The Madonna del Sasso Sanctuary (begun in 1480) near Locarno
is a good example from this time period. In the German-speaking
part of the country is the already mentioned Convent of St. Gall, which received
an addition in the late 1700s in the Baroque style.