Thun Castle

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Thun Castle
Native nameSchloss Thun
2011-07-23 Lago de Thun (Foto Dietrich Michael Weidmann) 509.JPG
Location Thun
Coordinates 46°45′36.28″N7°37′47.36″E / 46.7600778°N 7.6298222°E / 46.7600778; 7.6298222 Coordinates: 46°45′36.28″N7°37′47.36″E / 46.7600778°N 7.6298222°E / 46.7600778; 7.6298222
Built12th century
Governing bodyCity of Thun
Switzerland adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Thun Castle in Switzerland
An aerial view of the castle SchlossThun 6385.jpg
An aerial view of the castle
Another view of the castle Thun castle view.jpg
Another view of the castle

Thun Castle (German : Schloss Thun) is a castle in the city of Thun, in the Swiss canton of Bern. It was built in the 12th century, today houses the Thun Castle museum, and is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. [1]

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 in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to the German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are 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.

Castle Fortified residential structure of medieval Europe

A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for royalty or nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls, arrowslits, and portcullises, were commonplace.

Thun Place in Bern, Switzerland

Thun is a town and a municipality in the administrative district of Thun in the canton of Bern in Switzerland with about 43,783 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2013.

Contents

History

During the Early Middle Ages there was a small fort and church on the top of the castle hill. [2] The castle was built between 1180 and 1190 by Duke Berthold V of Zähringen, who constructed the still preserved keep to the level of the Knights' Hall (German : Rittersaal). The 14 m (46 ft) tall Knights' Hall was built as the centerpiece of a monument to Zähringen power. However, the family never lived in the castle, preferring Burgdorf Castle. In 1218 it was inherited by the House of Kyburg, who built the upper levels above the Zähringen castle. A quarrel over who would rule the southern Kyburg lands led, in 1322, to Eberhard II von Kyburg murdering his brother Hartmann II at the castle. To protect his newly acquired land from the Habsburgs Eberhard II then sold them to Bern and was promptly given them back as a fief. [2] [3] The Kyburgs ruled over the region for nearly two centuries until a failed raid by Rudolf II on Solothurn, in 1382, started the Burgdorferkrieg (also Kyburgerkrieg). After several decisive Bernese victories the Kyburgs were forced to concede an unfavorable peace. In 1384 Bern bought Thun and Burgdorf, the most important cities of the Kyburg lands. The castle came under Bernese control and became the seat of their local administration.

Early Middle Ages Period of European history between the 5th and 10th centuries

Historians typically regard the Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, as lasting from the 5th or 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history. The alternative term "Late Antiquity" emphasizes elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while "Early Middle Ages" is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period. As such the concept overlaps with Late Antiquity, following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and precedes the High Middle Ages.

Keep type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility

A keep is a type of fortified tower built within castles during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars have debated the scope of the word keep, but usually consider it to refer to large towers in castles that were fortified residences, used as a refuge of last resort should the rest of the castle fall to an adversary. The first keeps were made of timber and formed a key part of the Motte-and-Bailey castles that emerged in Normandy and Anjou during the 10th century; the design spread to England as a result of the Norman invasion of 1066, and in turn spread into Wales during the second half of the 11th century and into Ireland in the 1170s. The Anglo-Normans and French rulers began to build stone keeps during the 10th and 11th centuries; these included Norman keeps, with a square or rectangular design, and circular shell keeps. Stone keeps carried considerable political as well as military importance and could take up to a decade or more to build.

Burgdorf Castle castle in Burgdorf (Switzerland)

Burgdorf Castle is a castle in the municipality of Burgdorf in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.

The massive roof (1430–36) comes from the Bernese period. Due to the lack of residences in the castle, in 1429, an administrative and residential wing was added to the west of the keep, built in late Gothic style, and known as the "new castle". [4] [5] [5] The castle was the seat of the local court and since at least the 17th century there was a prison under the roof of the donjon. In 1886 a new prison was built on the castle grounds. Two years later, in 1888, the museum opened in the castle. For a time the jailer was also the ticket seller and guard for the museum. [6]

In 2006, the castle was bought by the city of Thun from the canton of Bern. Until the end of 2009 the Bernese Oberland regional court was based in the castle. [7]

The castle museum

The castle museum is housed in the five floors of the tower, and includes cultural and historic displays showing the development of the region over some 4,000 years. It is open daily between February and October, and on Sundays only for the rest of the year. The great hall is used for concerts or plays, and can be hired for private events. [4] [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

House of Zähringen dynasty

The House of Zähringen was a dynasty of Swabian nobility. Their name is derived from Zähringen castle near Freiburg im Breisgau.

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.

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Oberhofen Castle castle

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Landshut Castle, Switzerland castle

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Wimmis Castle castle in Wimmis in the canton of Bern, Switzerland

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Weissenau Castle castle ruin in Unterseen, canton of Bern, Switzerland

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Blankenburg Castle (Bern) castle

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Bipp Castle ensemble of castle ruins, manor house, farm house and Stöckli in Oberbipp in the canton of Bern, Switzerland

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References

  1. "Kantonsliste A-Objekte". KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  2. 1 2 Thun in German , French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland .
  3. Kyburg (Kiburg), von in German , French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland .
  4. 1 2 "Willkommen im Schlossmuseum Thun" [Welcome to the Castle Museum Thun] (in German). Castle Museum Thun. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  5. 1 2 3 "Schloss Thun" [Thun Castle] (in German). City of Thun. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  6. "Über uns: Geschichte" [About us: History] (in German). Castle Museum Thun. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
  7. Probst, Roger (2009-12-05). "Abschied des Gerichts vom Schloss Thun" [Farewell to the Court of Thun Castle] (in German). Berner Oberländer. Retrieved 2013-03-12.