Schwanau island in Lake Lauerz is occupied by a ruined castle, a chapel and a restaurant. Traces of occupation on the island date back to around 1200 BC. There is little documentary evidence relating to the castle, but it is believed to have been built at the end of the 12th century and to have been ruined, probably as a result of a fire, as early as the middle of the 13th century.

The island in known to have been occupied by hermits at various times, including the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1684 a chapel was built on the island, but this was destroyed by the tsunami that followed the 1806 Goldau landslide. In 1808 the council of the church in Schwyz sold the island to General Ludwig Auf der Maur on the provision that he rebuild the chapel. The island remained in the possession of the general's descendants until 1967, when it was purchased by the canton of Schwyz. In 2009 it was completely renovated.



Your name


Lauerz, Switzerland
See all sites in Lauerz


Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland

More Information


4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Catherine Kuenlin (7 months ago)
Very nice place .. You can walk around the lake
Nadine Night (2 years ago)
Was very satisfied! The place is beautiful, staff was very friendly and the food was fantastic & fresh! The only downside: you have to pay for the boat trip 5.- per person ... a bit exaggerated that you spend over 200.- for the food. Last summer, you did not pay for a reservation.
Marina Felder (2 years ago)
Just beautiful.
Bruno Fiechter (2 years ago)
Creative and perfectly run restaurant in an exceptional location! The freshly prepared food tasted excellent. The friendly service rounded off the whole thing. We will be back.
Thomas Dübendorfer Gmail (2 years ago)
Lovely up-scale restaurant on a tiny island. Ferry on demand to transport guests. Worth a visit, even if weather isn't great.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week


Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".