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29 Best Castles in Switzerland (Photos)

Switzerland put more into developing its banking system and subsequent neutrality than into castles. Nevertheless, Switzerland has a handful of great castles. Check them out here.
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While Switzerland is best known for its banking system and neutrality over the centuries, it also has a good number of amazing castles and manor houses. That said, since Switzerland hasn’t engaged in battle for 500 years, it’s not surprising they don’t have as many fortresses and castles as other countries. While their neutrality wasn’t cemented until many centuries later, it’s been a de facto neutral nation for centuries.

Interestingly, the nation ceased getting involved in battles and wars around the same time as its world-renowned banking system started to develop (16th Century). You gotta hand it to them; one way to stay out of costly wars is to secure money for many nations. Other countries won’t attack the nation that holds all the money.

Nevertheless, Switzerland does have a good handful of castles to check out. We set out the best castles below.

Photos

In the early 13th century, the Habsburgs built the Schloss Wildegg in Möriken-Wildegg, Switzerland and was owned by eleven generations of the Effinger family from 1483. When Julie von Effinger, the last of her line, died in 1912 without descendants, the castle was left in the hands of the Confederation, which handed over the whole estate, together with almost all the equipment and original castle form to the National Museum for administration. Today, the castle belongs to the canton of Aargau and is open to the public.

About the Castle Wildegg

  • Where: Wildegg, Switzerland
  • When: 13th Century
  • Who built it: The Hadsburgs
  • Style: Baroque architecture
  • What is it now? Open to the public
  • Current owner: Canton of Aargau
Vufflens Castle

Vufflens Castle

Located in the Swiss municipality of Vufflens-le-Château in the canton of Vaud, the Vufflens Castle is a medieval castle built in 1425 on the site of a previous medieval castle constructed by Henri de Colombier. The castle was built by the lords of Vufflens, however, nothing remained of that structure after it was set on fire by Bernese troops in 1530.

About the Vufflens Castle

  • Where: Vufflens-le-Château, Switzerland
  • When: 15th Century
  • Who built it: Lords of Vufflens
  • Style: Medieval architecture
  • What is it now? Private property / Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: Famille de Saussure
Valere Basilica

Valère Basilica

Situated in Sion in the canton of Valais in Switzerland, The Valère Basilica is a fortified church recognized as a Swiss heritage site of national significance. It was built in the 13th century in Romanesque/Gothic style. The Valère basilica is still active currently, serving as a Minor Basilica administered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sion.

About the Valère Basilica

  • Where: Sion, Switzerland
  • When: 13th Century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Romanesque / Gothic style
  • What is it now? Minor Basilica
  • Current owner: Roman Catholic Diocese of Sion
St. Maurice Fortress

St. Maurice Fortress

Fortress Saint-Maurice is part of the three main fortification complexes comprising the Swiss National Redoubt together with Fortress Saint Gotthard and Fortress Sargans. The three fortresses’ purpose is to secure the central alpine region of Switzerland against potential invaders.

About the St. Maurice Fortress

  • Where: Swiss National Redoubt, Switzerland
  • When: 20th Century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Baroque-style Fortress
  • What is it now? Deactivated Fortress / Potential historical monument
  • Current owner: Government of Switzerland
Schloss Stockalper

Schloss Stockalper

The Stockalper Palace is a castle located in Brig-Glis, Switzerland built in the 17th century by Kaspar Stockalper, a wealthy silk merchant of Brig. Kaspar’s palace was built next to the original Stockalper House was erected by Peter Stockalper. Kaspar expandedd the house and added modifications, completing the Stockalper Palace, however, the communities of Visp, Leuk, Sierre and Sion rebelled against him and forced him into exile in Domodossola. Fortunately, the Diet of Valais negotiated an agreement that allowed Kaspar to return and live out his last years in his Palace six years later.

About the Schloss Stockalper

  • Where: Brig-Glis, Switzerland
  • When: 17th Century
  • Who built it: Kaspar Stockalper
  • Style: Italian-Renaissance style
  • What is it now? Tourist attraction / Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: City of Brig-Glis
The Château de Spiez (Schloss Spiez)

The Château de Spiez (Schloss Spiez)

The Château de Spiez (Schloss Spiez)

The Château de Spiez (Schloss Spiez)

The Spiez Castle, or Schloss Spiez is a Swiss heritage site of national significance located in the municipality of Spiez of the Swiss canton of Bern. It was built in the 10th century by the King of Burgundy, Rudolph II. In 1280, the castle was listed as an Imperial fief under Vogt Richard de Corbières, and was succeeded by several noble families. During the 17th and 18th centuries the “New Castle” in the south was constructed and then expanded and redecorated in the late Baroque style. The castle was passed once again through many succeeding owners until a foundation bought the castle and associated church, making the gardens of the property open to the public.

About the Château de Spiez (Schloss Spiez)

  • Where: Spiez, Switzerland
  • When: 10th Century
  • Who built it: King of Burgundy, Rudolph II
  • Style: Baroque architecture
  • What is it now? Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: Municipality of Spiez
Schloss Arenenberg

Schloss Arenenberg

Originally built as a Constance patrician’s residence, Schloss Arenenberg was constructed in the 19th century as the residence of the imperial French family. The adopted daughter and sister-in-law of Napoleon I, former King of Holland, Queen Hortense governed her kingdom from the Schloss Arenenberg from 1820, together with her son Prince Louis Napoleon, later the emperor Napoleon III.

About the Schloss Arenenberg

  • Where: Salenstein, Switzerland
  • When: 16th Century
  • Who built it: Sebastian Geissberg, Mayor of Constance
  • Style: French Empire architecture
  • What is it now? Napoleon Museum
  • Current owner: Canton Thurgau
Schadau Castle

Schadau Castle

Schadau Castle

Schadau Castle

Schadau Castle is a Swiss heritage site of national significance located on the south side of the Aar near Lake Thun in the city of Thun, Canton Bern, Switzerland. It was built between 1846 and 1854 following the Gothic Revival style under the direct command of architect Pierre-Charles Dusillon for the banker Abraham Denis Alfred de Rougemont.

About the Schadau Castle

  • Where: Thun, Switzerland
  • When: 19th Century
  • Who built it: Pierre-Charles Dusillon
  • Style: Gothic Revival style
  • What is it now? Swiss Heritage site of National Significance
  • Current owner: City of Thun
Oberhofen Castle

Oberhofen Castle

The Oberhofen Castle is a castle located in the municipality of Oberhofen of the Canton of Bern in Switzerland and is Swiss heritage site of national significance. It was built in the 13th century and was succeeded by several owners and families until the Pourtàles family purchased the castle, renovated and expanded the it to its present appearance in the 19th century.

About the Oberhofen Castle

  • Where: Canton of Bern, Switzerland
  • When: 13th Century
  • Who built it: Renovated and expanded by the Pourtàles family
  • Style: Baroque architecture / Romantic style / Water-Castle
  • What is it now? Swiss Heritage site of National Significance / Public Museum
  • Current owner: Freiherr, now Historical Museum of Bern
Neuchatel castle

Neuchâtel castle

The Neuchâtel Castle is named after the municipality of Neuchâtel, Canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, where the castle is located. It was owned by Rodolphe III, King of Burgundy, and gave it to his wife in 1011 as a gift. The castle hosted several nobilities and became home to the King of Prussia in the early 18th century.

About the Neuchâtel Castle

  • Where: Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • When: 10th Century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: French Renaissance style
  • What is it now? Swiss Heritage site of National Significance
  • Current owner: Canton of Neuchâtel
Lenzburg Castle

Lenzburg Castle

Lenzburg Castle

Lenzburg Castle

Lenzburg Castle is one of the oldest and most historic hilltop castles in Switzerland. According to a legend, the castle was built by two knights, Wolfram and Guntram. There was once a living dragon inside of a cave in the hillside, and the two knights defeated it. The grateful people made the two Counts of Lenzburg and permitted them to construct their castle on the hilltop. The Lenzburg castle went into the hands of several royal families until the City of Lenzburg and Canton of Aargau acquired the Castle, opening the property to the public.

About the Lenzburg Castle

  • Where: Lenzburg,  Switzerland
  • When: Unknown
  • Who built it: Unknown (Wolfram and Guntram in the legend)
  • Style: Gothic style / French style
  • What is it now? Open to the public
  • Current owner: City of Lenzburg
Hilterfingen Castle

Hünegg Castle

A castle in the municipality of Hilterfingen of the Canton of Bern in Switzerland, the Hünegg Castle is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. It was built for the Prussian Baron Albert Emil Otto von Parpart in 1861-63. The castle hosted many owners after Baron Albert Emil Otto von Parpart died in 1869. Today, it is the home of the Renaissance Revival and Art Nouveau Museum.

About the Hünegg Castle

  • Where: Hilterfingen,  Switzerland
  • When: 1861-63
  • Who built it: Prussian Baron Albert Emil Otto von Parpart
  • Style: Renaissance style
  • What is it now? Renaissance Revival and Art Nouveau Museum
  • Current owner: Canton of Bern
Heidegg Castle

Heidegg Castle

Located in the municipality of Hitzkirch of the Canton of Lucerne in Switzerland, Heidegg Castle is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. It was built in the 13th century to serve as the manor of the noble Heidegg family. Today, it serves as a living museum offering fun activities.

About the Heidegg Castle

  • Where: Hitzkirch,  Switzerland
  • When: 12th-13th centuries
  • Who built it: Heidegg family
  • Style:
  • What is it now? Living museum
  • Current owner: Canton of Lucerne

Located on two islands in the River Aabach, just north of the northern end of Lake Hallwil in the municipality of Seengen in the canton of Aargau, Hallwyl Castle is one of the most important moated castles in Switzerland. It was built in the 13th century to serve as the home castle of the Lords of Hallwyl. It was then neglected for a very long time until the castle was rebuilt during the 19th century. Today, the castle is open to the public and is owned by the canton of Aargau.

About the Hallwyl Castle

  • Where: Seengen,  Switzerland
  • When: 12th-13th centuries
  • Who built it: Lords of Hallwyl
  • Style: Gothic style
  • What is it now? Open to the public
  • Current owner: Canton of Aargau
Castle Wasserschloss Hallwyl

Castle Wasserschloss Hallwyl

Chateau de Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland

Chateau de Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland

The Tourbillon Castle is situated on a hill and faces the Basilique de Valère, located on the opposite hill in Sion in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance built in 1290-1308 by the Bishop of Sion, Boniface de Challant, as his principal residence. The castle was destroyed by a fire in 1788 and was restored in 1966 to 1969 and again in 1993 to 96.

About the Tourbillon Castle

  • Where: Sion,  Switzerland
  • When: 1290-1308 centuries
  • Who built it: Boniface de Challant
  • Style: Gothic style
  • What is it now? Open to the public
  • Current owner: Government of Sion
Chateau de Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland

Chateau de Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland

Chateau de Chillon

Chateau de Chillon

Chateau de Chillon

Chateau de Chillon

Chillon Castle was the residence and belonged to the Counts of Savoy from the 12th to the 16th century. It is the most visited historic building in Switzerland. It is an island castle located on Lake Geneva believed to be constructed around the 10th century and was rebuilt at the end of the 19th century. Now it belongs to the State of Vaud and is classified as a Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance.

About the Chateau de Chillon

  • Where: Vaud,  Switzerland
  • When: 10th century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Medieval architecture
  • What is it now? Historic monument / Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: State of Vaud
Château d'Aigle

Château d’Aigle

Aigle Castle is a Swiss heritage site of national significance located in the municipality of Aigle of the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. Built in the 12th century by the family of the Knights of Eagle, the Militias of Allio, the castle underwent major renovations in the succeeding centuries until it was acquired by the Municipality of Aigle at the end of the 18th century.

About the Château d’Aigle

  • Where: Aigle,  Switzerland
  • When: 12th century
  • Who built it: Knights of Eagle, the Militias of Allio
  • Style: Gothic style
  • What is it now? Museum / Open to the public
  • Current owner: Municipality of Aigle
Champvent Castle

Champvent Castle

The castle of Champvent is among the Vaudois fortresses that have most purely preserved their medieval appearances. It is located in the municipality of Champvent of the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland and is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. It was believed that the castle was built during the 13th century following the Byzantine architectural style.

About the Champvent Castle

  • Where: Champvent,  Switzerland
  • When: 13th century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Byzantine architecture
  • What is it now? Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: Government of Champvent
Castle of Gruyeres

Castle of Gruyeres

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland located in the medieval town of Gruyères, Fribourg. It was built in the late 13th century was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the Count of Michel went bankrupt in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom until the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families. The castle was then purchased back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, turning it into a museum that is open to the public.

About the Castle of Gruyeres

  • Where: Fribourg,  Switzerland
  • When: 13th century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Medieval architecture
  • What is it now? Museum / Open to the public
  • Current owner: Canton of Fribourg
Old castle in Nyon, Switzerland

Old castle in Nyon, Switzerland

The Nyon Castle is a Swiss heritage site of national significance located in the municipality of Nyon of the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It was rebuilt by Ludwig I of Savoy in the 13th century. In 1574-80 the castle was converted into the seat of the bailiff upon the arrival of the Bernese bailiff upon the Swiss Confederation invasion of Vaud in 1530. It remained the seat of the bailiff and was renovated multiple times in the following centuries.

About the Nyon Castle

  • Where: Vaud,  Switzerland
  • When: 13th century
  • Who built it: Ludwig I of Savoy
  • Style: Medieval architecture
  • What is it now? Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: Canton of Vaud
Castle Lauffen

Castle Lauffen

The Castle Lauffen was built in the 11th century but got destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. It was rebuilt the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and served as the town hall since 1818. Today it serves as a Museum devoted to the history of Lauffen.

About the Castle Lauffen

  • Where: Lauffen,  Switzerland
  • When: 11th century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style:
  • What is it now? Historical museum
  • Current owner: Swiss government
Chateau St. Maire

Chateau St. Maire

Built from 1397 to 1425 by the Bishops of Lausanne to serve as their fortified residence, the Château Saint-Maire serves as the seat of the cantonal government, the Council of State of Vaud and is a Swiss heritage site of national significance. It is located in Lausanne, Switzerland.

About the Chateau St. Maire

  • Where: Lausanne,  Switzerland
  • When: 1397-1425
  • Who built it: Bishops of Lausanne
  • Style: Ghibelline style of architecture
  • What is it now? The seat of the Cantonal Government / Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: Canton of Lausanne

The Castle Hinwil is a Swiss heritage site of national significance built during the 13th century.

About the Castle Hinwil

  • Where: Hinwil,  Switzerland
  • When: 13th century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Medieval architecture
  • What is it now? Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: County of Hinwil
Castelgrande in Bellinzona Switzerland

Castelgrande in Bellinzona Switzerland

Castelgrande castle

Castelgrande castle

The Castelgrande in Bellinzona is one of the three beautiful castles that are part of the prestigious UNESCO cultural world heritage site. The three castles, consist of Castelgrande, Castello Montebello and Castello Sasso Corbaro protected the city during the medieval times, and the Castelgrande was a very important line of defense for the ancient Romans. It is also the oldest among the three castles.

About the Castelgrande castle

  • Where: Bellinzona,  Switzerland
  • When: 13th century
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Medieval architecture
  • What is it now? UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Current owner: City of Bellinzona
Aile Castle

Aile Castle

Located in the municipality of Vevey of the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland, Aile Castle was built between 1840 and 1846, constructed over the former 17th-century castle on the site. It was designed in a Neo-Gothic style of architecture and is currently well-preserved and serving as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.

About the Aile Castle

  • Where: Vevey,  Switzerland
  • When: 1840-1846
  • Who built it: Unknown
  • Style: Neo-Gothic style
  • What is it now? Swiss Cultural Property of National Significance
  • Current owner: Canton of Vaud
Aigle Castle

Aigle Castle

Aigle Castle is a Swiss heritage site of national significance located in the municipality of Aigle of the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. Built in the 12th century by the family of the Knights of Eagle, the Militias of Allio, the castle underwent major renovations in the succeeding centuries until it was acquired by the Municipality of Aigle at the end of the 18th century.

About the Aigle Castle

  • Where: Aigle,  Switzerland
  • When: 12th century
  • Who built it: Knights of Eagle, the Militias of Allio
  • Style: Gothic style
  • What is it now? Museum / Open to the public
  • Current owner: Municipality of Aigle
Aarburg castle

Aarburg castle

A castle in the municipality of Aarburg in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland, Aarburg Castle was built around a medieval castle that commanded the narrow point on the Aare river and served as the seat of Aarburg Vogt. It was constructed in the during the early 13th century by the Lords of Büron. The castle is classified as a Swiss heritage site of national significance and currently houses the Kantonale Jugendheim, with the purpose of holding and rehabilitating juvenile offenders.

About the Aigle Castle

  • Where: Aargau,  Switzerland
  • When: 13th century
  • Who built it: Lords of Büron
  • Style: Medieval architecture
  • What is it now? Kantonale Jugendheim / Swiss Heritage Site of National Significance
  • Current owner: Canton of Aargau

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