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Lichtensteig the jewel in Toggenburg.

Why was this historical town with its arcades, reminding us of Z├╝rich or Bern built on this spot?

Founded by the Counts of Toggenburg, Lichtensteig was first mentioned as a guarded village in 1228. The town is built at a strategic point below the Wasserfluh Pass on sedimentary rock some 30 meters above the River Thur.

In 1400 Lichtensteig was given the charter of a market town by the Counts of Toggenburg, Donat and Friedrich. The town plans, with its tight ring of timber framed and stone houses date from this time.

The houses along the town wall were built in the 15th century. The many merchant houses with arcades inside the outer ring were built during the 16th and 18th centuries and are witness today to the then wealth of the town.

The scenic arcades were built for the market, The empty shop windows here in recent times have been resurrected by hard working people. Take time during your tour along the arcades to see what interesting things you can discover.

Photo: Both the town gates which were part of the outer ring were demolished in 1828 to ease the increasing traffic passing through the town. The decision to demolish the two gates enraged the citizens. Two fountains also had to be re-sited away from the main street.