In the middle of nature - walks and hikes from Ittingen Charterhouse
Walking along the cloister to the monastery church was very important for the Carthusian monks The Sunday walk, on the other hand, was for relaxation, as they felt "uplifted and revitalized by the sweetness of the solitude and the beauty of the fields" - according to the statutes of the Carthusian Order. The former monastery complex and its surroundings are an invitation to walk and hike. Whether on the way on various theme paths through the gardens or on a walk through the Ittingen forest, through the vineyards, across meadows and fields to the nearby Thur or to the lake "Nussbaumersee", the movement revives the senses, does good and makes a visit to Kartause Ittingen a holistic experience.
Experience Culture and Nature Step by Step
The nature around Ittingen Charterhouse is idyllic. At any time of the year you can discover the hidden and unexpected on walks. The Ittingen Forest and the Nussbaumersee, together with the renaturation projects in the Seebach Valley, are an important mosaic stone in the landscape of national importance between the Thur and Rhine. We have put together varied walking and hiking routes.
On the Way on Your Own - Route Suggestions
Get on your way, there is a suitable route for everyone.
We wish you relaxing and impressive experiences of nature and culture.
Maps of the walks and hiking routes are available here on the website and in the monastery shop. The flyer for the hiking year is available to take away from the signpost tree in Ittingen Charterhouse.
More information on the twelve selected routes can be found here:
Garden Art Route 1
On four themed paths through gardens and centuries
Discover the Charterhouse and its gardens in a special way:
Four people will accompany you to special places and draw your attention to the hidden beauties of the monastery gardens. Visitors determine the route themselves on the basis of a plan and their own preferences and discover that the narratives of the four people are determined by their particular interests.
An older man draws his attention to the basic conditions of existence and sometimes recites a poem. A young woman - she could be a landscape gardener - knows a lot about the changes to which the design of the various garden areas has been subjected over the centuries.
A young art historian walks with his audience through museum rooms and gardens and loses himself in fantasies about nature and landscapes, which are reflected in pictures and sculptures, while an older woman knows a lot about the effects of herbs and how they are still used in products today.
An audio guide device can be borrowed at the museum cash desk. Its use is included in the entrance fee to the museums.
Ittingen Monastery Route 2
Explore the history of the monastery with ten short audio plays
In the course of time, many people have left their mark on Kartause Ittingen. The Monastery Route offers the opportunity to meet such people almost in person. Equipped with headphones, you can experience how the miller and the procurator come to an agreement about the awarding of the mill, or we can listen to the lord of the manor Victor Fehr, who, while playing billiards in the former chapter house, does not hesitate to show a guest the beauty of his stately home. The church patron of Ittingen, St. Lawrence, has his say, as do the founder of the order, Bruno, and the martyr Victoria.
The short audio plays are linked to individual monastery rooms, so that listening to the plays always conveys something about the function of the rooms and their history: an entertaining opportunity to learn more about the ideas of the monks, but also of other inhabitants of the Charterhouse. On the monastery route, a visit to the museum becomes a unique experience.
An audio guide device can be borrowed at the museum ticket office. Its use is included in the entrance fee to the museums.
Ittinger scavenger hunt route 3
Discovery tour to hidden places, about 60 minutes. Map available at the reception.
The treasure hunt takes you to various, sometimes hidden places throughout the grounds, from the farm to the courtyard, to the gardens, to the spring, to the "heaven's ladder", to the museums and to the pond.
With some combination skills, hidden corners of the former monastery complex are discovered in this way, which would otherwise remain hidden.
The Ittingen scavenger hunt is ideal for small groups of three to twelve people.
Costs: CHF 7 per person, families all-inclusive CHF 20
Coal pile route 4
Through the Ittingen forest to the place of the coal pile - 30 minutes there and back.
For many years - the last time in 2018 - a coal pile was built in the forest of Ittingen Charterhouse according to old tradition and ceremonially put into operation.
In the Ittingen forest, near the charcoal-burner's square, information boards tell about the charcoal-burner's trade.
Ittingen charcoal is currently still available in the monastery shop.
Due to a lack of charcoal burners it is uncertain whether this old craft can be maintained in the coming years in the Ittingen forest.
Art route 5
On Janet Cardiff's "Ittingen Walk" space and time become a sensual experience.
The Thurgau Art Museum offers a very special walking experience: Janet Cardiff's Ittingen Walk. Equipped with headphones and playback devices, the public takes a walk through the monastery rooms and experiences the place with particular intensity. The Canadian artist guides the participants with stories, noises and sounds into a fictitious space of experience that expands the visible world like a parallel reality. Starting from the monastery, its former inhabitants and its current use, she develops her own narrative, which tells of silence and meditation, but also of longing and strangeness. Elements from the past and present - aircraft noise and the silence of the Carthusian monks, the noise of war and the historical "Ittingersturm" - are mixed with a seductive relationship story to create an attractive experience.
Simply ask for the Ittingen Walk at the museum ticket office. The walk lasts 19 minutes and is included in the museum entrance fee of CHF 10.00/7.00 (reduced).
In the thyme labyrinth on winding paths step by step to the centre.
Somewhat hidden behind hedges, the labyrinth lies next to the Baroque garden - an idyllic spot in the middle of the gardens of Ittingen Charterhouse. The paths are drawn in the sandy soil with thyme plants. Over 20 different species can be found.
A labyrinth is not to be confused with a maze. A maze leads people astray. A labyrinth, however, leads the people who enter it unswervingly towards one goal: towards the center. A wise man once said: "In a labyrinth one does not get lost. In a labyrinth you find yourself."
When walking, the path through the labyrinth becomes a meditative exercise. The gaze is directed inwards. Walking on the outside becomes a journey through your own soul. Therefore, the direct path is not required, detours are also part of it. The goal is not reached in a straight line, but is to be reached slowly in steps.
Meet Brother Klaus in the cosy Ittingen Ranft above the northern wall of the monastery.
Books about Brother Klaus in the monastery library, a relic of the hermit and the picture in the refectory show that the Carthusians of Ittingen were intensively occupied with the hermit from Flüeli Ranft and saw in him a kindred spirit. The " Ittingen Ranft" makes this connection tangible: a spiritual place in the middle of nature with a small pond, a rippling stream and a wild ravine. A place to dive in and out, a place to meet Brother Klaus.
Reto Friedmann, sound artist and lyricist, has created a soundtrack that offers a narrative approach to Brother Klaus and his wife Dorothee, explores the Carthusian connection with him and explores his relevance for the present day. The soundtrack can be listened to with a museum audio guide, on a mobile phone (QR code) or on the Internet (www.tecum.ch).
Rose Route 8
Walk through the gardens with the rose book and read about the "queen of flowers".
In early summer, a thousand rose bushes in over 250 mostly historical rose varieties transform Kartause Ittingen into a romantic blossoming magic. Switzerland's largest collection of historic rose varieties fascinates every year.
Accompanied by the book "The Roses of Kartause Ittingen", the walk through the gardens becomes a beguiling journey into the history of the rose in general and the art of Ittingen in particular.
The book is available in the monastery shop and in the museum shop at a price of CHF 58.
Lake route 9
Hike to the lake "Nussbaumersee" and back, 3 to 4 hours.
The monks of Ittingen were in possession of the Nussbaumer lakes and obtained fish from them for their meals. The protected area around these lakes is today considered a landscape of national importance due to its history and valuable habitats for rare plant and animal species.
A hike in the Seebach valley and around the lakes is an experience in every season. From Kartause Ittingen, the path leads over meadows and fields, past farms and the Helfenberg castle ruins.
The hiking time can be halved by taking the post bus to or from the lake area (stops at Hüttwilen, Stutheien or Nussbaumen, Tobelbrunnen).
Forest route 10
60-minute tour through the species-rich Ittingen forest.
Due to the geographical and geological conditions, very different plant communities can be found in the Ittingen forest in a relatively small area. From humid locations to shady hollows and sun-exposed southern slopes, everything can be found. This is why the first Thurgovian forest reserve was set aside here in 1997. In addition to rare plant and animal species, one also finds 120-year-old exotic trees, which were planted for experimental purposes at that time. The brochure "Guide through the Ittingen frest", which is available in the monastery shop for CHF 11.00, contains a lot of interesting information based on examples at selected locations. We also offer guided tours of the Ittingen forest for groups. For inquiries: T. 058 345 10 60 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Water route 11
From the spring to the historic fountains - a tour under the sign of water.
An abundant spring at the foot of the vineyard in the north of Kartause Ittingen may have been a major reason why a monastery was founded here almost 900 years ago. "Teuchelleitungen" (drilled tree trunks) were already used in ancient times to convey water to the places of consumption in wells. Even today the spring water is used in many ways: for the animals in the stable and for our own fish breeding. In summer, the gardens can be watered and the coolness of the water is also used for the air-conditioning of the seminar rooms. The historic wells on the site are still fed with spring water. An exhibition in the Ittingen Museum provides additional information about the importance of water during the time of the monastery.
Wine Route 12
Wine knowledge trail through the vineyard
The idyllic vineyards of Kartause Ittingen invite you on a discovery tour. On ten panels around the Kirchwingert vineyard you will learn interesting facts about the history of the local wine, the care of the vines throughout the year, the terroir and the range of wines in Kartause Ittingen. An experience tour that makes you want to enjoy a fine glass of Carthusian wine!
Duration: 30 to 40 minutes