A Fortress, Vineyard, and Rose Garden: Schaffhausen's Munot for Locals and Vistors Alike

Schaffhausen, Switzerland

"Do you know the Munot?" asks a woman, in German (so proud of myself for understanding her), who has brought her granddaughter to the neighborhood park.

"Yes, last week," I reply because I'm still not familiar enough with forming the past tense of verbs to say, "Yes, we were there last week."

She goes on to rave about the great Spielplatz, or playground, for the children near there. I nod in agreement with her as it's the one place where the children aren't too afraid to climb the play structures and use the toys.

Although the boys enjoy the Spielplatz, they much prefer to play inside the Munot itself, a 16th century fortress that towers above the old town. Once inside the cool, dark interior, I let them run around the main room, peering out the tiny windows and hiding from one another behind giant pillars. They could stay in there for hours, but we don't because there's more to see when we climb the tower.

Once we arrive at the top, we are welcomed by views of the Rhine, the old town in the west, and modern residences in the east. Climbing to the top of the Munot also affords a better view of the Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines that surround the south side of the fortress. A kiosk offers visitors an opportunity to try the locally produced wine as well as other refreshments.

Since the Munot was originally an artillery fort, you can find several of these cannons on display, which feature the same ram that appears on the cantonal flag.

To round out our visit, we stop by a small, but lovely, rose garden that lies near the north side of the Munot.

Enjoy free entrance (as in gratis) to the Munot year-round.

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