Wiesendangen, Switzerland 7/13
Between short trips to visit friends and relatives around Switzerland, we have spent much of our time in Monika’s hometown of Wiesendangen. Once a small farming village, founded between 600 and 650, Wiesendangen has become somewhat of a bedroom community for the nearby city of Winterthur. The original name Wisuntwangas, (first mentioned in a document on February 29, 804), derives from the Old-High-German word “wisunt” which means “bison”. The town is growing, now with a population of 5000, but in many ways it still has the small village atmosphere.
Surrounding fields are planted with various rotating crops. Hillsides are mixed wood forests and vineyards. Cows graze in meadows, contentedly clanging their bells. Woodpiles are an art of Swiss perfection. Flowers spill out of windowsill planters. A stone bison stands guard in front of City Hall. Celebrating the 1,200th anniversary of recorded history in 2004, every resident was encouraged to chip a little on this symbol of the village. A church tower rings the hour every 15 minutes, 24/7. A small creek runs down the center of town. You can pretty much walk or bike anywhere. There are miles of hiking trails into nearby hills and farmlands and everyone you pass nearly always says “Grüezi” (“Hello”).