Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Switzerland Castle Road Trip!

Landsknecht/Reisläufer Statue in Bern

Summertime brings the opportunity to relax, stay with family and friends... Or go for a road trip visting more than a dozen castles in one week! Eagerly studying medieval/renaisance objects and exibitions.

Some of our guys recently reported back from their annual trip with a historical theme. This time to Switzerland (and a bit of Austria, Lichtenstein and Italy). Being from Sweden we are used to people every now and then mistake Sweden for Switzerland and vice versa. Well, lets be honest and say that they - Switzerland - have many more well preserved medieval castles than we do in Sweden...

It was a great trip - as you can see for yourselves.

Thun Castle.
The complex was originally built by the Dukes of Zähringen at the beginning of the 12th century.

City banner of Thun.
The star was changed into gold after the Battle of Grandson 1476. 

15th century crossbow at Thun Castle. 

Oberhofen Castle on the lake of Thun.
The keep (not in the picture) was built in the 13th Century. In the 14th Century it belonged to the Habsburgs. After the Battle of Sempach in 1386 the Bernese troops occupied Oberhofen and soon afterwards the fortress and surrounding area came under the control of the Scharnachthal dynasty. 

Luzern Bridge.
The Kapellbrücke or "Chapel Bridge" was built in the 14th century
but was to some extent destroyed by fire in the 1990's and later restored.

Wall decoration in Luzern

Shield at Zug Castle.

Burgdorf Castle in the Canton of Bern.
Much of it pre-dates the 14th century.

Greyerz (Gruyères) Castle.
Built in the 13th century it holds three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold in 1476.

Chillion Castle at the Geneva Lake.
Originating from the 11th or 12th century. From the mid 12th century, the castle was home to the Savoy Family and it was greatly expanded in the 13th century.

The beautiful Chillion Castle

Cannon at Chillion Castle

Bern Heraldy at Chillon Castle

Battle of Grandson 1476

Pavise at Grandson Castle

 Armour at Grandson Castle

Burgundian Pavise at Grandson Castle

16th c harness and helmets

Geneva Lake

D'aigle Castle, close to Chillon

Tourbillon Castle.
One of the four castles in Sion, the capital of the Swiss canton of the Valais. The spectacularly located Tourbillon Castle was built at the turn of the 13th and 14th century by bishop Boniface de Challant, a native of Savoy, who made it his principal residence.

Sword at Valère Castle in Sion.

Maille hauberk at Valère Castle in Sion.

Helmet at Valère Castle in Sion.

Nufenen Pass.
2478 meters above sea level.

One of the three great Castles of Bellinzona.
Several key alpine passes, including the Nuferen, St. Gotthard, Lukmanier, San Bernardino and the Poebene, all meet in the area around Bellinzona making it a key trading center.
It was also a location of much conflict, primarily between Uri and Milan.



Castle Vaduz in Lichtenstein


  1. Lucky you:)

    have a nice trip

    best regards Michael

  2. Back already! :-) But it was a very nice trip indeed.

  3. Must have been a great trip and thanks for the nice photo report!