Thorberg Castle

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Coloured engraving of Thorberg Castle Thorberg.jpg
Coloured engraving of Thorberg Castle
Thorberg Prison today Thorberg heute.JPG
Thorberg Prison today

Thorberg Castle (German : Schloss Thorberg) is a former Carthusian monastery, or charterhouse, now a prison, located in Krauchthal in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Krauchthal Place in Bern, Switzerland

Krauchthal is a municipality in the administrative district of Emmental in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.

Canton of Bern Canton of Switzerland

The canton of Bern or Berne is the second largest of the 26 Swiss cantons by both surface area and population. Located in west-central Switzerland, it borders the canton of Jura and the canton of Solothurn to the north. To the west lie the canton of Neuchâtel, the canton of Fribourg and canton of Vaud. To the south lies the canton of Valais. East of the canton of Bern lie the cantons of Uri, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Lucerne and Aargau.

Contents

History

Of the castle of the von Thorberg family, first documented in 1175, there remain only fragments of the foundations of the tower. The family died out in 1397 with Peter von Thorberg, the last knight: he bequeathed his many estates to the Carthusians, who converted the castle into a Carthusian monastery (or charterhouse).

At the Reformation in 1528 all the assets and property of the monastery passed to the state of Bern. The income from the Vogtei Thorberg was administered by a Vogt from the Bern patriciate. Until 1798 various care organisations, a prison and a hospital were accommodated in the monastery buildings.

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Vogt</i> title of overlordship or nobility in the Holy Roman Empire

A Vogt in the Holy Roman Empire was a title of a reeve or advocate, an overlord exerting guardianship or military protection as well as secular justice over a certain territory. The territory or area of responsibility of a Vogt is called a Vogtei. The term also denotes a mayor of a village.

In 1805 the former almshouse, which had provided shelter for the aged poor, was put to use as a reformatory, model school and ancillary (or overflow) lunatic asylum. To these were added in 1807 a further institution for the accommodation of those who "had not really merited imprisonment". The care organisations were replaced on 1 November 1849 by a workhouse or forced labour unit. The opening of the psychiatric clinic at Waldau near Bern made it possible to close the ancillary asylum in 1855. [1] In 1893 a newly built cell block was opened as a prison; various other extensions were added during the 20th century, most recently in 1998.

Almshouse charitable housing

An almshouse is charitable housing provided to people in a particular community. They are often targeted at the poor of a locality, at those from certain forms of previous employment, or their widows, and at elderly people who can no longer pay rent, and are generally maintained by a charity or the trustees of a bequest. Almshouses were originally formed as extensions of the church system and were later adapted by local officials and authorities.

Remains of the monastery buildings

From the Carthusian monastery there remain the women's guesthouse and the chapel, dating from 1510-15, the frescoes of which show the Adoration of the Magi and the Adoration of the Shepherds. A figure of the "Man of Sorrows" by the sculptor Erhart Küng, master of works at the Berner Münster, formerly belonging to the charterhouse, is today kept in the Historisches Museum Bern.

Adoration of the Magi name given to the Christian subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi worship Jesus

The Adoration of the Magi or Adoration of the Kings is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him. It is related in the Bible by Matthew 2:11: "On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another path".

Adoration of the Shepherds part of the nativity story and common subject in Christian art

The Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Nativity of Jesus in art, is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, arriving soon after the actual birth. It is often combined in art with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title. The Annunciation to the Shepherds, when they are summoned by an angel to the scene, is a distinct subject.

Man of Sorrows Biblical term and theme in Christian art, from Is. 55:3–6: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows […] he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities […] the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Man of Sorrows is paramount among the prefigurations of the Messiah identified by Christians in the passages of Isaiah 53 in the Hebrew Bible. It is also an iconic devotional image that shows Christ, usually naked above the waist, with the wounds of his Passion prominently displayed on his hands and side, often crowned with the Crown of Thorns and sometimes attended by angels. It developed in Europe from the 13th century and was especially popular in Northern Europe.

Other

The construction of the Baroque castle is from the time of the Landvogt .

Baroque architecture building style of the Baroque era

Baroque architecture is the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late 16th-century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church. It was characterized ..by new explorations of form, light and shadow, and dramatic intensity. Common features of Baroque architecture included gigantism of proportions; a large open central space where everyone could see the altar; twisting columns, theatrical effects, including light coming from a cupola above; dramatic interior effects created with bronze and gilding; clusters of sculpted angels and other figures high overhead; and an extensive use of trompe-l'oeil, also called "quadratura," with painted architectural details and figures on the walls and ceiling, to increase the dramatic and theatrical effect.

The old sandstone quarry nearby can still be seen, particularly the traces of hand-working and handtools.

Sandstone A clastic sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand-sized particles

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments.

Notes

  1. In 1838 the sculptor Joseph Maria Christen died as one of its inmates.

Coordinates: 47°00′09″N7°33′51″E / 47.0025°N 7.5643°E / 47.0025; 7.5643

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