European Niagara flows in few directions, rolling its waters among the rocks and greenery. The Swiss canton of Schaffhausen boasts of the largest waterfall on the continent, advertising it as the heart of Europe.
Rhinefall is beautiful. Its waters foam like milk, rising the admiration among people seeing it. But it’s not really liked among eels, who can climb up the rocks to the top, pushed by the instinct in their spawning season. They’re not impressed by the numbers either: 23 meters high and 150 meters of total width. Total, because Rhinefall actually consists of several waterfalls, which together form a majestic wonder of nature. It lets through almost 700,000 liters of water per second. Indeed, you have to be eel to be able to ignore these statistics.
The aforementioned waterfall is located in the Swiss town of Neuhausen am Rheinfall, in the canton of Schaffhausen. It lies at the turn of the Rhine. Its beauty is famous not only in the region, but in the whole Switzerland. In turn, its dimensions place it at the forefront of waterfalls giants - Rhinefall is the largest waterfall situated in the plain areas of Europe.
A view of the Rhinefall
Rhinefall was born during the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago. His power impresses and intimidates crowds wishing to look at it from a close distance. Subtle water mist hovers in the air, filling it with moisture. Around the waterfall, there’re several vantage points, including one platform, which can be reached by water taxi. Not everyone, however, has courage for this.
Near the Rhinefall you can spot a slowly spinning mill wheel. It was founded in the 70s of the twentieth century on the model of the original design coming from the eleventh century. It makes a great impression on visitors.
On the rocks near the waterfall there’re two castles dating back to the Middle Ages: Laufen and Wörth. Tourists, who come here to see the water giant, enjoy the opportunity to get to know as well these monuments.
A ballad of two castles
The fortified castle Laufen is available for tourists. To it reaches a beautiful pathway, stretching over the railway bridge. When we stand at its center, we’ll see an impressive gray building. Nowadays, its interior houses a conference center and a restaurant serving game dishes.
The castle can be reached via a footpath, but also via a glass elevator. From its windows you can admire the magnificent panorama of the waterfall.
The second castle, Wörth, is also open for public. On the first floor of the building there’re several banquet rooms, the castle also has a café and a gift shop. Inside you can find an upscale restaurant with a menu, which includes dishes from fish and seafood, as well as meat dishes. There’s also something for vegetarians.
Where to stay?
Tourists, who visited the Rhinefall, usually advise to go here in May, during the largest flows. In this period waterfall roars in the loudest manner, you can observe the most intense foaming and the greatest "rage" of the element. The sound of water falling from the rocks can be heard already in the parking lot. But in other months there’s also a lot to admire.
Approximately 5 km from the waterfall, there’s Jestetten, a place where you can stay overnight with your motorhome. It’s called Schwimmbad Jestetten mit Campingplatz. An overnight stay for an adult costs 2.5 euros, while for the motorhome you’ll have to pay 6 euros per day. Unfortunately, we cannot come here with pets, but the price includes an access to a large pool.
Jestetten itself is small, nice and neat, as it usually is in the Swiss towns. Here you can rest and relax while strolling around the charming little houses with red roofs.