Laufen Castle is a castle in the municipality of Laufen-Uhwiesen in the Swiss canton of Zurich. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance overlooking the Rhine Falls.

The first documented reference to the castle dates to the year 858 when it was the home of the Barons of Laufen. It passed through several owners until the Old Zürich War (1439-1450) when the castle was acquired by the Fulach family, from whom the city of Zurich bought the castle in 1544. Following the Helvetic Republic (1798–1803) the castle was once again in private ownership, with the city of Zurich reacquiring the castle by buying it again in 1941.

The castle now serves as a tourist attraction, and contains a restaurant and a youth hostel. Between 2009 and 2010 a project was undertaken to restore and expand the facilities, including a visitors’ centre situated in the former staff quarters, an exhibition in the northern part of the castle, and a wheelchair-accessible circular walkway with glass lift between castle and river levels. Laufen is overlooking Wörth Castle, on the opposite side of the Rhein river, in the Canton of Schaffhausen.

The Rheinfall railway line passes through a tunnel under the castle, halting at the Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall station to the south of the tunnel and beneath the castle walls. The station is linked to the castle by a walkway.

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Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Luciana Oliveira (2 years ago)
An inspiring place with a beautiful swiss architecture. The waterfalls are breathtaking! This place breathes peace. There are also lots of outdoor activities for kids. If you stop by, make sure to taste the local grilled sausages, served outside the castle. They are delicious!
rxrify (2 years ago)
My wife and I have had our wedding there around a year ago. All I can say is that the place is absolutely fantastic. With the Rheinfall in the background you have a stunning view, not to mention the beauty of the castle itself. The Restaurant staff was simply amazing in helping us organize and have a magical wedding. We went back for our first wedding day and again, the staff was extremely friendly and took great care of us. The food is also amazing, the kitchen staff knows what they're doing and you can taste they are doing it very well. I cannot recommend this place and its personnel enough!
Anıl Özcan (2 years ago)
A magical old castle turns to a good restaurant! It's just near the beautiful Rhinefall. The place is nice,view is amazing and the ambiance is outstanding! It was well decorated in winter. I like the garden. It's the best place if you are hungry around Rhinefall. I recommend...
Dr Mustafa (2 years ago)
Beautiful tourist destination. It is about half an hour from Zurich by road and very easily access. Plenty of free parking and there is a pleasant walk to the falls. A small charge of five francs per adult and three francs for children to access the viewing platforms and castle.
Giovanni Miranda (3 years ago)
Great magic and amazing place! A must to all who visit Switzerland. This fall has history and been an inspiration to many... don’t forget to visit the tiny town, church, cemetery and if you can make a reservation in the restaurant. Amazing food and service there.
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Lednice Castle

The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.

During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.

In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.

The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.