Castles of Switzerland – 4 of the Most Stunning
Switzerland’s long history of armed neutrality has resulted in some of Central Europe’s best-preserved castles. The castles of Switzerland range from refined palaces to fortified strongholds and are among the most popular tourist attractions within the country.
Whether your travels in this landlocked country take you to lakeside cities or quaint villages high in the Alps, there will be a picturesque castle nearby just waiting to be explored. Most were built during the Middle Ages, giving you a rare glimpse into a bygone era. The castles of Switzerland are sure to captivate your imagination and make your visit to the country one that will forever stay in your memories.
Chateau de Chillon
The Château de Chillon is Switzerland’s most visited historic building and is located on a rocky offshore island in Lake Geneva. From the 12th to the 16th centuries, the Counts of Savoy ruled over lake travel from the aquatic stronghold.
Your visit to Chillion is sure to evoke images of storybook castles with its soaring outer walls and multiple towers. However, for much of its existence, the castle also served as a state prison. You’ll want to set aside a fair bit of time to explore the courtyards, great halls, and bedrooms that have made the Château de Chillon one of the most popular castles of Switzerland.
Castelgrande, the oldest of the three castles that adorn the hills of Bellinzona, was built on a site that was first fortified in the 4th century.
This newly refurbished medieval castle, easily identified by its striking white and black towers, stands on a flat-topped hill near the town centre.
While its location may seem like visiting the castle is an arduous task, you needn’t worry about that. A recently installed elevator, in addition to a flight of steps, makes it extremely easy to access and explore the castle. Castelgrande Castle is open all year and has two restaurants as well as a courtyard that is the ideal spot for you to host a historically enriched picnic during a warm pleasant day.
Aigle Castle, located in the vineyards near the southeast shore of Lake Geneva, was built at the end of the 12th century by the Knights of Aigle.
In the 13th century, fortifications such as a curtain wall and a central keep were added. In the 1970s, through the work of the Aigle municipality, the castle was renovated and opened to the public. Within these ancients walls now lie a Vine and Wine museum which allows you to witness artwork created back in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Castello di Montebello
Montebello Castle, perched atop the hills of Bellinzona in the Swiss canton of Ticino, is one of three fortresses that once guarded the ancient city. The castle was built in the 14th century, expanded in the 15th century, and renovated in the early 1900s to its current state. It now houses the Civic Museum, which houses archaeological artefacts from the region’s prehistoric burial sites providing you with a wealth of history to peruse at your pleasure. The walkways of the castle’s battlements are well-maintained and strolling through them will grant you incredible panoramic views of the city.