Balm Cave Castle Ruins

Balm bei Günsberg, Switzerland

The Balm ruins are the remains of a fortified cave dwelling in the Jura Mountains, in the municipality of Balm bei Günsberg. It is that canton's only cave stronghold and one of the few in Switzerland.

The stronghold was built 20 metres high in a natural cave of about 20 metres wide and 6 metres deep.

The outer wall was provided with two doorways and some narrow windows. The wet rock face was covered with a lining wall; and the rest was a simple two-story timber construction, which is shown evident by the presence of holes into which beams were inserted. While being restored, the presently visible wall openings were distorted from their original form. At a later stage in the building of the stronghold, a fortified, inhabited house with an inside width of 3.5 metres and a length of 29 metres was erected in the forecourt. Presumably this was a defensive fortification of some farming complex.

The entrance to the stone fortress stretched over a long, partly walled rise which is partly hewn from the rock. The connection between the forecourt and the fortress itself is still only incompletely reconstructed. The present-day rise is of modern source, and only partly represents its original state.

Excavations from the years 1939 and 1941 indicate that the place had been used as a habitation since early times.



Your name


Founded: 11th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Switzerland

More Information


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

giampaolo carducci (2 years ago)
Amazing view. With a bbq place too
Kaethi Flueckiger (3 years ago)
Very nice view over the Mittelland to the Alps.
Jan Vratislav (4 years ago)
Great view
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg

The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.

The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.

The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.