Fronwagen square

The “Thurgauer Klosterweg” begins at the monastery All Saints in the old town of Schaffhausen. First, it leads along the Rhine to Diessenhofen, and then via Stammheim and Frauenfeld to Tobel. All Saints was founded in 1049 by count Eberhard von Nellenburg. At first, we enter the former monastery church (today reformed minster). The roman pillared basilica with its three naves, built around 1100, makes a weighty impression. Red and gray sandstone blocks alternate in the arches. Three tomb slabs on the ground indicate where count Eberhard and his wife Ita and their son Burkhard lie. Part of the medieval wall paintings are still preserved, such as the Credo frieze (15th century) a profession of faith, and on the big pillar Mary with Child (around 1400)

We leave the church and enter the roman cloister of the former Benedictine abbey. It is the biggest in Switzerland, built some time after 1100. In the inner court, we find the Schiller bell (1486) that is said to have inspired the German poet to his poem about the “Glocke” (bell). In the herb garden, innumerable medicinal herbs spread their scent. Here is also the minster chapel (St. Anna) and the arcade, both from the 12th century. Those who have enough time can also visit the extensive museum (open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 – 17 hrs). We cross the Rhine near the landing stage (392m) and walk on the Zürcherstrasse and Diessenhoferstrasse through the suburb Feuerthalen.

Langweisen

Passing under the railway line, we come to the Rhine and reach the place Langwiesen after 45 minutes, with its resting place and the outlook back to the Munot. From here, the shady lane leads along the Rhine, in part on the broad embankment wall, and brings us in 20 minutes to “Paradies”. Near the Rhine ferry stands the inn of that name. Passing a paddle wheel, we come to the former convent of the order of St. Clare, by name of “Paradies”. Today, the convent is a vocational education centre of the firm Georg Fischer AG. The convent was endowed in 1257 by the count Hartmann the elder of Kyburg. The convent church St. Michel can be viewed freely.

Paradis (Schlatt)

The baroque church is now the parish church of the municipality of Schlatt. The route turns again towards the Rhine and after some fields, reaches the Schaarenwald, marked as nature preserve. Past a bathing place with meadow and fire-place, the route returns into the wood. On an instruction path we learn that even the rare lady’s shoe can be found, and that the kingfisher breeds in the reeds. Partly as a shore-path with wooden gangway that cannot be used in high water, and partly as a wide cycling road (some metres to the right), the route leads through a wonderful river and reed-grass landscape until St. Katharinental. For the stretch from Paradies to here, we need 1 hour and 20 minutes.The former convent of the Dominican nuns Katharinental now serves the canton as a clinic.

Katharinental

The café in the former refectory, or in the shady convent garden, is open to the public. The convent goes back to a Beguin community that migrated around 1230 from Winterthur to Diessenhofen, and from there downriver in 1251. In 1245, they were integrated into the order of the Dominican nuns. The church was consecrated in 1257 by Albertus Magnus. Here, in 1312, the gradual of St. Katharinental came into being, one of the most important gothic manuscripts of Switzerland. In the corridors of the clinic, we find on the walls copies of the old writings (the originals are in the National Museum in Zürich). The former convent church was rebuilt in 1732-35 and has rich baroque furnishings, some of which are protected by railings. 

On the beautiful shore-path, we reach the small medieval town of Diessenhofen in about 15 minutes. It has a well-preserved old town with towers and ramparts. On the way there, we see the covered wooden bridge over the Rhine, first documented in 1292, but subsequently destroyed or damaged several times, the last time in 1945.

After an open-air café in front of the landing stage (397m), we climb the 52 steps up to the church of St. Dionysus, first mentioned in documents in the year 757. The oldest parts of today’s building date from about 1200. The church was reconstructed in 14-15th century, and again in 1838. A baptismal font from 1527 and two tomb slabs from 1577 can still be seen.

Diessenhofen

The townscape of Diessenhofen is characterized by many historical buildings, the castle-like “Unterhof” (13th century), the “Oberhof”, the town hall (1760) and the “Siegelturm” (seal tower) from 1545. Diessenhofen was conferred the status of a town by the count Hartmann the Third from Kyburg in 1178. Between 1264 and 1460, the town was under Habsburg rule, and in 1460, it was conquered by the Swiss confederacy. We managed the 9 km long way from Schaffhausen to Diessenhofen in a little under 3 hours.
From Diessenhofen, we now continue in a southern direction. We cross the railway line in an underpass west of the station, and after that, cross the main road on a bridge. The route now takes us over fields to Eichbüel and then into the village of Basadingen, which we reach after 45 minutes.

Unterstammheim

After passing the church, we cross the road Diessenhofen – Trüllikon and now, on a field road, follow the course of the romantic Geisslibach (brook) eastwards until we come to Schlattingen. Near the place “Im Chloster”, we come to the church St. George. This church dates back to the 12-13th century and has noteworthy rests of wall paintings from the 15th century. We continue our way along the Geisslibach as far as the hamlet of Furtmüli. There, we take the bicycle route (a small road used by farmers) and continue until we come to the motorway which we cross in an underpass and thus come to Unterstammheim.