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A rail and road junction joining four cantons, this small but vital town for centuries has been a center of trade with Italy. Often overlooked as merely a transit point, the town has a legacy that can be appreciated in a couple of hours: a restored core with cobblestone streets, shops, cafés, and the main attraction, a fairy tale–worthy merchant's castle.
Ice-capped peaks with small mountain resorts staggered up their spines rim the Aletsch, a glacier that shares its name with the area surrounding...