Grynau castle tower is situated at the then only bridge over the Linth river. Built probably in the early 13th century by the House of Rapperswil, the castle secured the strategically important river crossing in the area between the Grafschaft Rapperswil and the House of Toggenburg. The property was documented in 1311, when the castle was taken by force by Rudolf von Laufenburg-Rapperswil probably from the Toggenburg family.

In the summer of 1799, the French and Austrian troops fought in the Second Coalition War at the strategically important bridge which was destroyed three times, and rebuilt, and occupied by the French troops in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Zurich. Again in 1833, Swiss federal troops were concentrated at the Grynau castle, on occasion of the then planned division of the canton of Schwyz, however, waived without an armed intervention. And again in a Swiss civil war, the so-called Sonderbundskrieg, federal troops crossed the important bridge in March 1847, without a single dead soldier on both sides.

In the 19th century the remaining buildings, the tower, the adjacent barn and the former accommodation building, were bought by Schlossvogt Kälin, who rebuilt the surrounding building into the Landgasthof Schloss Grynau, a country inn, which is still held by the family.

The architecture dates back to the early 13th century. The five-story tower measures 12.5 x 12.5 metres, the foundation walls are 2.2 metres meters thick. The castle was between 1807 and 1816 widely rebuilt on occasion of the construction of the Linth channel; the road and bridge cross as of today in between the preserved tower and the former economic structures that were widely broken. In 1906 a fire broke out in the barn, which was adjacent to the tower and destroyed the roof and the interior of the tower. The castle tower was re-decorated and re-roofed and a new barn built in the following year.


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Tuggen, Switzerland
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland


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Château de Falaise

Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.

The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.

In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.