Altreu – European stork village

Near the town of Solothurn is the village of Altreu, which is famous for its unique stork preservation colony. You can observe more than thirty white stork pairs here, which live in the natural environment and deliver their babies here. You come across a stork´s nest around every corner, better to say, round each roof. Your visit will be accompanied by clapping the stork´s beaks and swishing their wings, so don´t be scared and enjoy your stay.

How to get there

Opening hours:

Daily from mid-April to mid-October, 9-18hrs.

Free entry (but making a voluntary contribution into the money box would be nice).

Info center

The stork´s preservation colony was founded in 1948 by Max Blösch, who wanted to prevent the extinction of storks in Switzerland. It is worth mentioning that one of the “founders” was a stork from then Czechoslovakia. 🙂

The info center itself is a small house at the back of the area. You will find here a great deal of information about storks (what else :)), but also about nature and landscape in the area between the Aare River and the cities of Grenchen and Solothurn.

Children here can try to answer interesting questions, such as how big is the stork´s wing span, how long a young stork stays in the nest, and how much this nest or the stork´s egg weighs…

They can also try to guess what a stork eats. They will get the correct answer thanks to the green light on the interactive board.

The exhibition aims to raise awareness of the protection of storks and nature as such. However, its disadvantage to someone may be that all the information is only in German and in French.

In the outdoor area, you will find a model of the stork´s nest and a place for barbecue (even with prepared wood).

Exhibition “The world of the meadow: small hiding places – great discoveries.”

You will find this exhibition right at the entrance to the area, in a house built here, as it was in the 1800s, using traditional craftsmanship at that time. It is almost unbelievable how this tiny house (which is an exact copy of the traditional village house of the Mittelland region) is crammed with information and activities.

Visitors will meet the “inhabitants” of the meadows, such as butterflies, grasshoppers, or beetles, as well as meadow plants, their species and fragrances.

Children can try to fold origami

Walk along the river

If you want to stroll only in the village, I recommend a short walk between the fields and the Aare River. We took the road out of the village, and after a while, we turned left as if into the fields and then left again to the river. There is a narrow path around the river for one pedestrian, but it’s doable also with a stroller (I had an umbrella stroller).

 

Restaurant Zum Grüene Aff

On the pleasantly short menu of the restaurant, you will find seasonal variations of salads, a selection of different kinds of meat, homemade pasta, sandwiches, or French fries. The restaurant offers outdoor seating in a large garden (children’s chairs are here), watch out for children – the restaurant is in the close vicinity of the river.

My tips

  • If the info center will be closed (as it happened to us, although it should have been opened), do not hesitate to ask in the camp opposite. A nice gentleman unlocked the premises and let us in.
  • My only objection is towards a small playground near the restaurant (I do not know if it belongs directly to it). The small chain carousel did not work, and the ladder on the children’s slide was not a ladder but a part of a wooden plank. And a swing (a wooden log) was pretty shaky.
  • You can combine the visit to the “Stork´s village” with a visit to Solothurn (the most beautiful Baroque city in Switzerland), where you can get either by car, on foot (about 2 1/2 hours), by bike (1/2 hour), but also by ship.

Have you eve been to Altreu? How many storks did you count during your visit? Would you recommend visiting this place to others? Tell me your comments!

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* https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Bloesch

Categories: Nature, Switzerland
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Hana Hurábová

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