From the shores of Lake Geneva to the lush alpine valleys of Bern, many statues in Switzerland are in some rather privileged spots.
Some are fictional but most statues depict historic personalities such as actors or geniuses. (The jury's out on William Tell as to which category he fits: fictional or historic?) And if memorable selfies for your Swiss scrapbook are not enough, these statues have never heard of the term "social distancing".
Feel free to scoot up and find just the right angle, but make sure to wash your hands after giving them a high-five. Now, here are some must-visit statues in Switzerland that are patiently waiting for a selfie with you:
Empress Sisi at the Quai du Mont-Blanc in Geneva
The memorial statue of Empress Sisi is located along the river across the street from the Hotel Beau Rivage. This is where the Empress of Austria was taken in 1898 after having been stabbed by an assassin while boarding a ship.
(Photograph copyright Szalax/Wikimedia Commons)
Statues of the Calvinists at Geneva's Reformation Wall
In order to commemorate the 400th birthday of Calvin, a Reformation Wall was built into Geneva's old city walls. It was inaugurated in 1917 and tells the story of the Protestant Reformation. The four statues in the center of this 100-meter wide monument measure no less than five meters in height. The statues honor four important Calvinists, namely Theodore Beza, John Calvin, William Farel and John Knox.
Outside her final resting place in Tolochenaz, there is a monument in honor of Audrey Hepburn
Legendary actress, Audrey Hepburn, was a long-time resident of the small town of Tolochenaz. This is where she used to shop and socialize, and I can highly recommend following Audrey Hepburn's footsteps.
(Photograph copyright Urs.Schmid007/Wikimedia Commons)
Charlie Chaplin on the lake promenade in Vevey
The British actor has left quite a mark on Switzerland. From 1953 until his death in 1977, the actor has called a mansion above Vevey his home. Today, a lone statue by the lake in Vevey is a reminder of the tremendous cultural legacy Chaplin has left behind.
The Freddie Mercury monument in Montreux
Queen recorded seven albums in Montreux between 1978 and 1995. Their studio is now a museum which allows you to stand in the exact same spot where Freddie Mercury recorded his last song. Down by the lake, there is a larger-than-human statue of the flamboyant Queen front man, Freddie Mercury. He was a long-time residence of Montreux.
The monuments of Ray Charles and other musicians in Montreux
The home of the Montreux Jazz Festival is truly a mecca for music fans. The monument in honor of Ray Charles is my favorite, but there are other notable memorials for Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King or Carlos Santana.
There are four Albert Einstein statues in Bern
The Nobel Prize winning physicist used to live and work in Bern. In fact, it is in Switzerland's capital where he made the discoveries that lead to his revolutionary Theory of Relativity. Today, four statues pay homage to Albert Einstein's close connection to Bern.
The first of the monuments greets visitors in front of the Bern Historical Museum, while a twin copy is located in the scenic Rosengarten overlooking the city. Two other Einstein benches are located at the University of Bern as well as at the Bear Park.
There is one more way to get up close and personal with the genius...
At the Chaplin's World Museum inside Charlie Chaplin's former home, there is a realistic wax replica of Albert Einstein. The genius used to be a frequent visitor.
Indian director Yash Chopra in Interlaken
The famous Bollywood director, Yash Chopra, was named as ambassador of Interlaken. Many of his blockbuster movies feature scenes of the Bernese Alps, hence they are an important driver for tourism. Among the most sought-after Bollywood filming locations is a bridge in Saanen which played a key role in the movie DDLJ.
The Yash Chopra statue is located on the premises of Kursaal in Interlaken.
Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls in Meiringen
The scenery of the Bernese Oberland has inspired many writers, such as Arthur Conan Doyle. He visited the Reichenbach Falls near Meiringen and used them as a backdrop for the death of his fictional hero, Sherlock Holmes. Today, a statue of the British detective makes for some great souvenir photographs.
James Bond on a mission on top of Schilthorn
Switzerland has been featured in various Hollywood productions. James Bond fans should definitely head to Schilthorn, the hideout of arch-nemesis Blofeld. Sure, this one is not exactly a statue or a monument. But up on top, you will find a cut-out of the secret agent...
The first president of the United States, George Washington, has a monument in Lugano near the Museum of Cultures
I had to smile while reading the engraved name: Giorgio Washington. It has not occurred to me that in Italian, the president's name would actually be translated! George Washington had never visited Switzerland in his lifetime; the memorial was donated to Lugano by a 19th century Swiss entrepreneur who made a fortune in the United States.
The Swiss National Hero, William Tell, in Altdorf
In the center of Altdorf, there is a monument for the Swiss national hero, William Tell. The Tell Monument is made of bronze and depicts father Tell with his iconic crossbow, along with his son, Walter.
There is barely another selfie spot as "Swiss" as this one. And for another very Swiss photograph, enter through the door to the left of the monument and climb a few steps inside the tower. From there, you will have a fantastic view of the Rathausplatz square.
(Photograph copyright GGDELABAS/Wikimedia Commons)
And finally, in case you were wondering: for our other national hero, there is no statue yet! Roger Federer is truly a living legend - we are in no hurry to see him as a statue...
In the meantime, you can get close to the tennis star in his hometown of Basel. There is an emblem dedicated to Roger Federer along the "Walk of Fame":
Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.
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