Top 10 most beautiful castles in Switzerland
Switzerland has some of the best preserved castles in Central Europe. From elegant palaces to formidable fortresses, Swiss castles are among the most visited tourist attractions in Switzerland. Wherever you may find yourself, there is always a picturesque castle nearby waiting to be explored. Most were constructed during the Middle Ages, offering you a rare glimpse back into times long past.
Hallwyl Castle is one of the most important moated castles in Switzerland. It is located on two islands in the River Aabach, just north of the northern end of Lake Hallwil. Since 1925, it has been open to the public, and since 1994 it has been owned by the canton of Aargau and is part of the museum of Aargau.... view details
Stockalper Palace was built between 1658 and 1678 by Kaspar Stockalper, a silk merchant of Brig. The Stockalper Palace was the largest private construction in Switzerland at the time. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
Today, there are guided tours which allow visitors to tour many parts of the building.... view details
Castle Tarasp dominates the eponymous locality in the Upper Engadine. The castle belonged until 1803 to Austria, was laid siege to and fought over several times, but was never captured.
In the year 1900, the inventor of the mouthwash Odol, Karl August Lingner, bought the castle and had it completely restored.
Since 1919, Castle Tarasp is open to all visitors, who can view knights' halls and ballrooms, old bedrooms, the castle chapel and the organ with its 2,500 pipes. The castle also offers public organ concerts and guided tours.... view details
During the High Middle Ages, Lord von Oberhofen built Balm Castle on a hill above the village. In 1306 the von Eschenbach family (who owned the castle by that time) was forced to sell Oberhofen and the castle to the Habsburgs.
Over the following centuries the castle changed hands frequently. In 1849-52 the Pourtales family renovated and expanded the castle to its present appearance. In 1952 it became a part of the Historical Museum of Bern and two years later they opened a branch in the castle.... view details
Grynau Castle is a castle tower, built by the House of Rapperswil in the early 13th century. The castle (situated at the then only bridge over the Linth river,) secured the strategically important river crossing in the area between the Grafschaft Rapperswil and the House of Toggenburg.
The five-story tower measures 12.5 x 12.5 metres and the foundation walls are 2.2 metres thick. The castle was widely rebuilt between 1807 and 1816 on occasion of the construction of the Linth channel.... view details
The site of Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the late 1st century BC and until the 13th century it was the only fortification in Bellinzona. During its history the castle has been known as the stronghold (before the 13th century), the Old Castle in the 14-15th centuries, Un Castle after 1506 and Saint Michael's Castle from 1818.
The castle can be reached by taking an elevator from the foot of the rock to the castle grounds or by climbing steep, narrow streets from the city center through the city wall onto the castle grounds. The south wing houses a museum that contains "6500 years of human presence on the hill ... and covers the period from the first Neolithic village to the 20th century".... view details
The Valere Basilica also called Valere Castle is a fortified church situated in the city of Sion. It is situated on a hill and faces the Castle of Tourbillon, located on the opposite hill. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
The organ on the west side of the Valere basilica, believed to have been built in 1435, is one of the oldest functioning in the world. It was probably brought to the church by Guillaume de Rarogne, who eventually ended up as the bishop of Sion. Its pipes are arranged to form a rough outline of a church; the larger pipes form two towers, and the smaller ones create a triangular church roof. The organ was modified in the 1700s to play Baroque music, but otherwise remains essentially unchanged.... view details
Vufflens Castle was built in 1425 on the site of a previous medieval castle by Henri de Colombier. The first castle on the site was built by the lords of Vufflens; nothing remained of that structure.
In 1530, the castle was set on fire by Bernese troops; in 1641 it was acquired by the de Senarclens family. Of the original castle by Henri Colombier, the donjon (or the keep), several towers, outbuildings, the surrounding wall and the gate house remain.
The castle is currently privately owned and cannot be visited.... view details
The Castles of Bellinzona are a group of fortifications located around the town of Bellinzona, the capital of the Swiss canton of Ticino. Situated on the Alpine foothills, the group is composed of fortified walls and three castles named Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro.
Castelgrande is located on a rocky peak overlooking the valley, with a series of walls that protect the old city and connect to Montebello. Sasso Corbaro, the highest of the three castles, is located on an isolated rocky promontory south-east of the other two.
The Castles of Bellinzona with their defensive walls have been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.... view details
Chillon Castle is an island castle located on Lake Geneva (Lac Leman), south of Veytaux in the canton of Vaud. Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe. According to the castle website, Chillon is listed as "Switzerland's most visited historic monument".
Chillon Castle is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhone. It began as a Roman outpost, guarding the strategic road through the Alpine passes. It was used as a defensive outpost, a prison and a munitions and weapons depot.
Chillon was made popular by Lord Byron, who wrote the poem The Prisoner Of Chillon (1816) about Francois de Bonivard. Byron also carved his name on a pillar of the dungeon. It is also known to be the inspiration behind the castle in the animated musical fantasy film The Little Mermaid.... view details
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