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

Rating

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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Glimmingehus

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".