Switzerland travel series - part 6 - Castle Kyburg

delishtreats
Taste and travel @delishtreatsOctober 2018 · 8 min read

Would you like to join me on my visit to Castle Kyburg? Let me show you around!

The castle Kyburg stands in the village Kyburg and it is partly hidden behind the houses and trees. When you walk in the village you can't even see it.

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It takes us ten minutes to get from the parking place to the castle.

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On the way we have made new friends..

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One of them was posing for a picture but left as soon as she realized there was no food 😊

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Castle Kyburg

The castle Kyburg is perched high up above the river Töss. It is the largest and one of the most important castles in Eastern Switzerland. It is also the oldest castle in this part of Switzerland.

A few years ago, we didn't know about this castle. We were on our way home from Zurich and we heard on the radio that there was a serious accident on the highway and the road was closed for a couple of hours. Instead of waiting in a traffic jam we decided to explore our region and find a different road back home.

After a few minutes we saw a castle sign. We followed the sign, and this is how we learned about Kyburg.

At that time, the museum was not promoted at all and there were just a couple of locals with us. However, the castle is slowly gaining popularity due to restoration that is taking place from 2016 until 2019. I must say that the castle looks very different to what we experienced before 2016. I'm looking forward to visit it next year after the restoration is completed.

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We will walk around the castle before we enter it. There are so many trees that we can't see through them, but it doesn't matter as we will get to enjoy the surroundings from the castle. It only takes a couple of minutes to walk around the castle.

We can enter the castle through the main gate now. On the other side of the gate there is a large courtyard.

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Before we continue our tour, we will purchase the tickets in the building on the left side that used to be a stable. The price of each ticket is EUR 9 including the audio guide in various languages. There is also a small self service guest house next to the ticket office. You go there, take whatever you want (they have coffee, tea, lemonades, snacks, wines, etc) and after you finish your consumption you go to the ticket office and pay. It's based on trust as nobody knows what you consumed - just you. Welcome to Switzerland 😊

Can you see the chicken under the tree?

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Here they are 😊 During the reconstruction some nice touches were added for the kids. But honestly, I have only seen adults taking photos of these chickens. Their kids were busy with running around and chasing each other, so they very much ignored the chickens.

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The excursion of the courtyard is free of charge, so if you feel like enjoying the atmosphere without visiting the castle you can do so. There are many benches around and enough place for everyone.

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There is a model of the castle to help your orientation if you decide to do the tour without the audio guide. A part of the museum is still under reconstruction and it's not open to public at the moment. This is the most beautiful part of the Knight's house with nicely decorated rooms.

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Now it's the time to enter the castle. The first mention of the castle was in the year 1027. The original name of Kyburg is "Chuigeburg" which means "a cow castle." It points towards a castle of refuge.

It was home of one of the most important Swabian family of Kyburgs. Following the death of the last of the Kyburgers in 1264, the castle passed into the hands of the Habsburgs. The city of Zurich bought the castle in the 15th century. From this time until 1798 the castle served as stately seat of administration, holding court and collecting taxes.

All of the owners shaped the castle according to their needs and this is the reason why the castle was changing its looks drastically over the centuries.

The castle was opened to the public in 1865 by Matthäus Pfauthe as a castle museum and an art gallery. It was the first castle museum in Switzerland.

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We will walk down the stairs to the Banqueting Hall. The room is empty now, but I can imagine mirrors, paintings, stucco and candle-holders around the room with beautiful furniture right in front of the fireplace. The classicist fireplace was made in 1723.

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The kitchen was added here in the 16th century. The open stove was reconstructed in 1926. But it was never used and it is not even connected to the chimney. It was added only for the museum purposes. It does look real, doesn't it?

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There are a few rooms dedicated to paintings and drawings of the castle. These paintings represent Romanticism period. The paintings show castle situated in the picturesque surroundings.

Over 150 prints and paintings of the castle Kyburg are known. The appearance of the castle on them was sometimes idealized and not real.

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There are also a few models of the castle. This one was my favorite.

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There is no castle without a prison. It looks like there were dragons locked in this prison! No worries, I checked and this one was not real 😊

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Large, tall buildings symbolized power. A high tower provided an overview in the event of attacks, as well as a view of the territory. It is not known how the top of the tower looked like before the 15th century. The top of the tower as it stands today was built in 1424 by the city of Zurich.

I didn't manage to get good photos from the tower itself as it was very dark. There is a workshop for kids to build their own replica of the castle. I wonder how they work in such a dark room.

Here are some views from the top floor of the tower.

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It is possible to see the Hohentwiel castle when it's a clear day. We couldn't see it...

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Next on the list would be the Knight's house, but as I mentioned it was closed so we will continue to the Castle gardens. This is the hall that leads us to the Knight's house as well as to the garden.

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These photos are taken through the closed windows 😊

The view of the chapel..

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And the gardens..

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The gardens are still used to plant vegetables and herbs. It's great as there are name tags next to each plant. There were so many veggies even in October!

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The layout of the garden is very nice and symmetric. There is a small fountain in the middle surrounded by perfectly cut bushes.

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A tethered horse and a donkey are waiting for kids to climb all over them. The place in front of the garden has been turned into the playground. It took ages to get a photo without a child hanging on one of these wooden sculptures.

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After we left the playground, we looked at the castle for the last time and said Goodbye.

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There has been a lot of work done to restore the castle. I hope that the new look with attract more people as it is worth a visit. I'm looking forward to visit the reconstructed Knight's house next year.

I hope you have enjoyed the castle Kyburg. It was my pleasure to take you on the tour with me!

All photos are taken by my Nikon D3200 AF-S NIKKOR 18-55 mm 1:3.5-5.6 G II (except of the ones indicated in the text)

Thank you for reading,

Cheers,
Martina

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Comments

Wow, this is another very impressive piece. As I was reading it I imagined what it would be like to have been there 600 years ago. Your posts bring forth this kind of imagination, excellent job again Martina!


10

Thank you Dave! Let me tell you it must have been very cold!! :D It was nice and warm outside and so cold inside. I wonder how they would heat it up 600 years ago..


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See that's the kind of info that is super interesting to me... Its still is kinda surreal to imagine that there were actual knights walking around on those same grounds as you. Very very cool :)


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Sometimes the longer way home reveals hidden treasures. Thanks for the walk Martina!


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Thank you for visiting Dan. I really appreciate it!


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Wow how lovely, COW CASTLE indeed haha it’s a grand house for cows 😂 I loved the walk around via your photos. The view from the top tower over the surrounding lands was also very beautiful. Thanks Martina, it’s funny how you didn’t know about it and found it accidentally. A great discovery. Upvoted and resteemed!


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Exactly! I was also laughing when I read about that, lol. The pity was that there were not so many opportunities to take photos from the tower. I wanted to take many more but the walls were so thick and the windows so far away that I couldn't reach them with my camera, so frustrating :D

When I say that I live in Switzerland people imagine the Alps, lol. But the Alps are not everywhere. And to be honest I like this landscape better. I can't imagine living in the Alps. In the valleys they struggle with the sun as it's so quickly behind the mountains..

Yes! And from that time we've been there already like 10 times, even with visitors. It is easily accessible and so nice.

Thank you for your nice words dear Sallybeth. Sending hugs to sunny Spain!


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kaerpediem
sh33la @kaerpediemOctober 2018

I loved the models of the castle
You could kinda imagine the ariel view of it
Those chickens though... thought it was funny that they had those there haha
Thank you for sharing your castle trip with us @delishtreats
It was a pleasure taking that tour with you :)


3

Yes, they are nice and there were so many. I didn't take photos of all of them but now I think I should.

Oh, the Swiss like to entertain the kids in an education way. I'm sure that the parents tell nice stories about those chickens :)

Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad that you enjoyed the trip!


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Hi @delishtreats

This was such a spectacular tour through Kyburg castle! I really enjoyed both your detailed descriptions and your phenomenal photography. I just love old historical sites and what an amazing castle.

Hard to believe that you had the place virtually to yourself? What a lovely afternoon! And those sheep were the cutest :)

Thanks for sharing this!


3

Thank you so much for visiting and for your thoughtful comment!

No, no, there were a couple of other people too. But the site is quite big so you can't see them on the photos :)

I love old castles too and I'm happy that I live in a country where there are so many of them :)

I like sheep as they are very curious. They come very close to you but as I say they leave as soon as they realize you have nothing for them :)


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maya525
Maya 525 @maya525October 2018

My gosh.. Delish this is so prettyyy x_x

My favourite is the garden and the little doll sized castlesss
Soo pretty!! I have no other words to be honest I'm that kind of person who doesnt go outside havent seen the sunlight for days XD

now I really do feel to just teleport and eat at the place heueheu


3

Thank you Maya! I'm so glad that you like my post!

Yes, those replicas were very cute and the garden beautiful. I would love to have a garden of this size!

Nooo, I can't believe that! Don't you enjoy being outside or are you too busy?

I would love for you to teleport here! It's really amazing! :)


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Castle calling....have you seen in movies how the pananormal activity push the actress to the forte...dont you think it happened to you 😝 ..
Actually the castle calling her princes...and when it smell your presence around they signalled you to the castle by yourself. 😉 you must be a castle queen in you previous birth. Everytime you come up with new xastle and eceryine has its own beauty ..one after the another...
Thanks for touribg us through one of yours owned castle.....the castle queen👍


2

Hahaha, no, I haven't seen it in movies but I understand what you mean.. and yes, that could be the case! LOL

A queen.. hmm, I would like that :D

Thank you for your thoughtful comment!


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Haha...so you got another name..."castle delicious queen" hope you do not meet any in your dream😛


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Hahaha, hope not! I like that name! :D


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That's awesome, Martina! I already miss visiting a castle like this. It's such a cool experience! ;-)


2

Thank you! Switzerland is not that far from Portugal and you are welcome here anytime ;)


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I know. But it's extremely expensive. Last time I was there, I paid 70€ for a meal. Just the main dish and a beer. No soup, no entrance, no dessert, no coffee.

While I was in Moldova, I usually ate like a king for less than 7.00€!!!

When I was in Lithuania, I made complete meals, from soup and bread to dessert for 1.70€

With huge differences like this, I usually prefer to visit the cheaper countries. It's the difference between visiting a country for 3 days... or for 10 or 12 days!!!


0

There are cheaper places too. 70 EUR is extremely expensive. Normally it should be around 30 to 40 max. You must have been in a very touristy place..

In Slovakia you can eat like a king for 5 EUR! :) I didn't know that Lithuania was that cheap! I will have to plan a trip there :)

You are right. If you go on vacation to Switzerland it does cost a small fortune. Not only the meals but also accommodation and different kind of services. Transportation is also crazy expensive here.


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I was in Lenzburg, next to Zurich.

I don't know if the main cities of Lithuania are that cheap. I was in a small town called Siauliai. Very cute and with very hospitable people. I spent a Saint John Holiday there.


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This is so awesome @delishtreats, I like the way you guide us through. Don't you have a hard time trying to imagine how life was back in those days? I certainly do.

Also I try to imagine how they built all that, I mean... even today it would require quite a bit of engineering power.


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Thank you @mrprofessor! I'm glad that you liked my post. Actually, I love historical places and I kind of enjoy imagining how it was back then. Some castles even have performances so that you can see how people were dressed, what they ate, etc. It is very interesting.

This is something what I find fascinating. How did they bring all the material up the hill? And how did they put it together? I have no idea but as you say, even nowadays it wouldn't be easy...


0

Amazing, yeah those reenachments are great, but even like that I find it difficult trying to picture the colors - I guess it's due to our brain not being able to creat something that simply we haven't experienced.

Don't you picture it all in back and white? hahaha or like really opaque?


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You are right, it is difficult. The color is mainly something like brownish.. but it is a good point! I have no idea how they painted them :) I think that they mostly put some expensive carpets on the walls or they hanged some paintings on the empty walls.. no idea :)


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This is wicked cool! Love, love, LOVE all your pictures - I felt like I was visiting with you (with I know was the point after all...LOL!). It's been far too long since I visited a castle (I actually worked as a tour guide for one during the summer of '84), and your post makes me very nostalgic. Thanks for sharing!


2

Thank you Traci! Yes, that was the point, lol and I'm very happy that it worked! :)

Really? Then you must be an expert! I always admired those tour guides with so much knowledge and ability to answer ALL questions. Amazing.

Thank you for you kind comment!


0

It most definitely did!

I was an expert to an extent, thanks - at least I was 35 years ago (yikes, has it really been that long? LOL!). Most of what I knew about the artifacts came from studying articles/notes given to us by the curators.

It was a wicked cool place to work though, and only a few miles from the house I grew up in. And while it was built "recently" (1930s), it has some interesting pieces housed in the collection (such as a skull that purportedly belonged to one of Columbus' crew members).

https://www.hammondcastle.org/

And you're very welcome! 😊 💜


0

Wow! I wouldn't say it's so young :) It looks much older. I like it! I would love to visit it. With you as a tour guide of course ;)


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LOL! Deal - if you're ever in the Boston area of New England, be sure to shout out. While I've forgotten most of the artifact details (dates and such don't like to stick in my brain), I can certainly regal you with stories from back in the day. 😊


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I will! It would be great to meet you there!


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