December 17, 2017

Historic Guild Signs

Vestiges of history are all around you while traveling in Europe.  One of the great ways to experience this history is through the ornate Guild Signs dotting cities in Europe.

Dating back to the Middle Ages, a time when the majority of the population didn’t read, these Guild Signs were a way for shop owners to show the type of wares or services they offered.

Today these signs add to the charm of many cities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and are a source of delight to us all.  Here are a few of the Guild Signs I have seen on my journeys.

Some Guild Signs adorn beautiful streetsGruyeres Switzerland

Maybe not historic, but even McDonald’s participates in Innsbruck!Guild Signs on Street Innsbruck Austria

Some streets are famous for its Guild SignsSalzburg Street Full of Guild Signs Austria

Spezial Brewery Bamberg GermanySchlenkerla Brewery Bamberg Germany

Others advertise Breweries or just add to the local scenery

Violin Museum Mittenwald GermanyInnsbruck Guild Sign by Inn River Austria

These photo’s are shared as part of Travel Photo Thursday.
For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Maybe I’ll see you there.


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  1. Selina says:

    Some great images! I love Europe and find that a simple walk on the street can discover so many gems, just like you have done!

  2. Kathryn says:

    Hi Debbie.. I am always a fan of your site because of the great places you always have here.. Makes me want to travel always..
    Kathryn recently posted..Hotel in Paignton

  3. Sabrina says:

    How cute that even the McD has a guild sign 🙂
    Sabrina recently posted..A Taste of Home: Hackbraten (German Meatloaf)

  4. Elise Walsh says:

    Very cool, I like how ornate and detailed some of them are. Love these details!
    Elise Walsh recently posted..Celebrity Vacation Hot Spots

  5. Sophie says:

    I always snap photos of guild signs, too. Never done anything with them, though. Thanks for the idea 🙂
    Sophie recently posted..Do bears…

  6. Born27 says:

    I actually love the first photo. I just love how it looks. And the guilds are very attractive. For sure, you just can’t decide which guild to look at with it’s amazing designs.

  7. Thank you for these- I always fancied Innsbruck but chance has never taken me there. My nearest is Salzburg which was beautiful, though rainy. Innsbruck looks every bit as lovely in a very different way.
    Johanna Bradley recently posted..Six word Saturday

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I absolutely loved Innsbruck! In fact, I had the feeling I could live there which doesn’t happen in every town.

  8. This reminds me of signs in Quebec. They were all beautiful in the historic section. Even the McDonald’s. They had to be. This was such a neat idea for a Travel Photo Thursday post!
    Courtney Mroch recently posted..Tribute to Professor Cline’s Haunted Monster Museum—Natural Bridge, Virginia

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Thanks Courtney! I would love to visit Quebec some day. I can only imagine how beautiful it is 🙂

  9. Carol says:

    the place have a nice view. It is very beautiful place to visit.
    Carol recently posted..Murano glass

  10. Bob R says:

    I snap photos of many of these as well. Always a pleasure to check them out and appreciate them.
    Bob R recently posted..French Presidential Election Posters

  11. Michael says:

    Fascinating collection!
    Michael recently posted..Easy Hiking Is Adventure For Beginners

  12. I did notice these things but I had no idea what they were called, haha. Thanks for enlightening me!
    A Montrealer Abroad recently posted..My Summer-Fall Travel Plans

  13. These add so much character and are so intricate. The McD one isn’t so imaginative but it’s unmistakable. Thanks for sharing, Debbie. Another thing to love about Europe.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: Clouds

  14. great photos! love the first one the most… such a lovely street. where is that specifically?

  15. Denise says:

    Have you been to Zurich? The old town is filled with pretty streets like the ones in your picture, though I’ve never paid attention to guild signs.
    Denise recently posted..Picture Perfect: Singapore Botanical Gardens and Orchid Garden

  16. Laurel says:

    I love the gild signs, a lot of thought has definitely gone into some of them.
    Laurel recently posted..Rome Coliseum: Day or Night?

  17. Dick Jordan says:

    You’re right, guild signs in Europe are always quite amazing.

    McDonald’s Golden Arches as a “guild sign”? Maybe not, but usually a sign of “clean restrooms within” both in Europe and the U.S.!
    Dick Jordan recently posted..Travel Canada: Rockies By Rail

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Very true! You can always count on the Golden Arches to have clean restrooms where ever you travel.

  18. What a great collection. I’m loving the quaint villages and streets more than the guild signs though. So interesting and pretty to see.

  19. You really saw some beauties. Gotta say, though, the McDonald’s sign in Salzburg is way fancier than the one in Innsbruck.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: Cambodia and Food

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I don’t remember seeing the McDonald’s in Salzburg! Guess that’s a good thing but now I’m intrigued to see their Guild sign 🙂

  20. Love these. I’ll be headed to Switzerland in October and will be sure to keep an eye out. I saw them in france years back and a few in England, but I always love to see how each country tackles their signs.
    walkingon travels recently posted..Toddler Palooza at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

  21. Lisa says:

    I love all the interesting signs in Europe – I took pictures of quite a few on our recent trip to France – they are all so unique!
    Lisa recently posted..A Return to Eze

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      They are very unique. I love trying to decipher the signs to see what type of store I can expect!

  22. Ah, the golden arches even in Innsbruck! Love all these signs and the street scenes. Very nice.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Shades of Green for Earth Day

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I think it is impossible to get away from the Golden Arches today! They are literally everywhere.

  23. I’ve seen this before, but never really gave it much thought…interesting…
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..The Villas at Grand Cypress Resort

  24. How quaint and lovely. The McDonald’s guild sign is actually quite classy! 🙂
    Andi at The Particular Traveler recently posted..Five Reasons I Love India

  25. Leigh says:

    Interesting idea for the times – and wonder if anything similar is used in countries with low literacy rates.
    Leigh recently posted..Scenes from Ireland’s Skellig Islands

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I really have no idea if they are using something like this. It would be interesting to come across modern day Guild Signs!


  1. […] you’ve traveled in Europe, I know you’ve seen the many Guild signs adorning the streets of most cities and […]

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