Trostburg Castle

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Trostburg Castle
Trostburg in Teufenthal.JPG
Trostburg from a nearby street
Switzerland adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Trostburg Castle
Coordinates 47°19′51.38″N8°07′06.49″E / 47.3309389°N 8.1184694°E / 47.3309389; 8.1184694 Coordinates: 47°19′51.38″N8°07′06.49″E / 47.3309389°N 8.1184694°E / 47.3309389; 8.1184694
Type hill castle
Code CH-AG
HeightHeight missing, see template documentation Template:Höhe/Erro in parameter list
Site information
Condition preserved
Site history
Built 1200

Trostburg Castle is a small castle in the municipality of Teufenthal in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland.

Castle Fortified residential structure of medieval Europe

A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly 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 and arrowslits, were commonplace.

Municipalities of Switzerland smallest government division in Switzerland

Municipalities are the lowest level of administrative division in Switzerland. Each municipality is part of one of the Swiss cantons, which form the Swiss Confederation. In most cantons municipalities are also part of districts or other sub-cantonal administrative divisions.

Teufenthal Place in Aargau, Switzerland

Teufenthal is a municipality in the district of Kulm in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland.



Trostburg Castle Trostburg 2944.JPG
Trostburg Castle

The castle was probably built in the 12th century, though nothing is known of its early history. At some point in the 12th or early 13th century a junior line moved a short distance away and built Liebegg Castle near Gränichen. On 28 May 1241 Burkhart I of Trostberg and his relative Ludwig of Liebegg appear in a document as witnesses and unfree knights in service to the Counts of Kyburg. [1] In 1253 Burkhart signed his name as Burchardus Barhandus de Trostberc. Eventually they passed from Kyburg service to Habsburg service. In 1317 a knight named Rudolf von Trostberg was the Habsburg vogt at Kyburg Castle. [2]

Liebegg Castle

Liebegg Castle is a small castle in the municipality of Gränichen in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. It is located on a outcropping about 70 meters (230 ft) above the Wynental valley floor. The current castle grew out of a medieval castle. A cantonal agricultural school opened in 1958 near the castle.

Gränichen Place in Aargau, Switzerland

Gränichen is a municipality in the district of Aarau of the canton of Aargau in Switzerland.

Ministerialis were people raised up from serfdom to be placed in positions of power and responsibility. In the Holy Roman Empire, in the High Middle Ages, the word and its German translations, Ministeriale(n) and Dienstmann, came to describe those unfree nobles who made up a large majority of what could be described as the German knighthood during that time. What began as an irregular arrangement of workers with a wide variety of duties and restrictions rose in status and wealth to become the power brokers of an empire. The ministeriales were not legally free people, but held social rank. Legally, their liege lord determined whom they could or could not marry, and they were not able to transfer their lords' properties to heirs or spouses. They were, however, considered members of the nobility since that was a social designation, not a legal one. Ministeriales were trained knights, held military responsibilities and surrounded themselves with the trappings of knighthood, and so were accepted as noblemen. Both women and men held the ministerial status, and the laws on ministeriales made no distinction between the sexes in how they were treated.

Around the mid-14 century the Trostburg line died out. The castle and surrounding estates were inherited by the Lords of Rinach. In 1415 the city-state of Bern conquered the Aargau from the Habsburgs. The owner of the castle, Hans Rudolf von Rinach, kept his castle and lands, but was forced to accept Bernese authority and grant them a preeminent right to buy it. In 1486 the Schultheiss and council of Bern decided to sell Trostburg along with its lands and serfs to Hans von Hallwil, the victor of the Battle of Murten. [2]

Bern Place in Switzerland

Bern or Berne is the de facto capital of Switzerland, referred to by the Swiss as their Bundesstadt, or "federal city". With a population of 142,493, Bern is the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland. The Bern agglomeration, which includes 36 municipalities, had a population of 406,900 in 2014. The metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000. Bern is also the capital of the canton of Bern, the second-most populous of Switzerland's cantons.

Under the Hallwil family, the castle was fortified and expanded with a chapel and residence hall (known as the Hallwil House) added on the northwest side of the site. It remained with the Hallwil family for 130 years. In 1616 Hugo von Hallwil moved to Bohemia and tried to sell the castle to the city of Brugg. Apparently fearing that Brugg was expanding its influence, the city of Bern quickly bought the castle and then sold it to a cooperative of wealthy Bernese citizens. Bern retained the rights to high justice and some income, which they transferred to Lenzburg Castle. [3] Over the following century the castle fell into ruin except for the Hallwil House. In 1754 it was described as looking like a peasant's hovel.

Bohemia Historical land in Czech Republic

Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.

Brugg Place in Aargau, Switzerland

Brugg is a municipality in the Swiss canton of Aargau and is the seat of the district of the same name. The city is located at the confluence of the Reuss, Aare, and Limmat, with the Aare flowing through the city's old town. It is located approximately 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) from the cantonal capital of Aarau; 28 kilometers (17 mi) from Zürich; and about 45 kilometers (28 mi) from Basel.

Housing cooperative form of home ownership

A housing cooperative, co-op, or housing company, is a legal entity, usually a cooperative or a corporation, which owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings; it is one type of housing tenure. Housing cooperatives are a distinctive form of home ownership that have many characteristics that differ from other residential arrangements such as single family home ownership, condominiums and renting.

In the 19th century found the castle converted into a music box factory. In the early 20th century it was partly rebuilt by a German butcher, but World War I prevented project completion. A large part of the western curtain wall collapsed in 1922. In 1933 it was acquired by another private owner who used the castle as his private residence. An archeological project in 1999 explored the history of the castle and also repaired and strengthened many of the walls. [3]

Curtain wall (fortification) defensive wall of a fortification

A curtain wall is a defensive wall between two towers (bastions) of a castle, fortress, or town.

Castle site

The castle is located on the same line of hills on which Liebegg Castle stands and the remaining castle walls wrap around the local hill top. The bergfried is a square 6.6 meters (22 ft) on each side and about 7 meters (23 ft) tall. The hill falls away from the tower toward the north, with a courtyard south and west. West and north of the courtyard the ground slopes down toward the Hallwil House. The residence building is four stories tall with massive walls that are between 1–1.7 m (3.3–5.6 ft) thick. [2]


A bergfried is a tall tower that is typically found in castles of the Middle Ages in German-speaking countries and in countries under German influence. Friar describes it as a "free-standing, fighting-tower". Its defensive function is to some extent similar to that of a keep in English or French castles. However, the characteristic difference between a bergfried and a keep is that a bergfried was typically not designed for permanent habitation.

See also


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  1. Swiss - Liebegg accessed 25 May 2016
  2. 1 2 3 Swiss - Trostburg accessed 26 May 2016
  3. 1 2 Markus Widmer-Dean:Trostburg in German , French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland .