The ruins of Illens castle stand on a rock wall above a loop of the Saane river. The castle stands on the opposite side of the river from the fortified town of Arconciel. The two castles secured both sides of a crossing (either a ford or a bridge) over the river. The castle is first mentioned between 1150 and 1276.

In 1366, the notoriously violent Count Peter of Aarberg moved into the castle and remained there for a short while. The chamberlain of Charles the Bold, Guillaume de la Baume, expanded the castle and when he left in 1470, it was an elegant and comfortable palace. During the conflicts leading up to the Burgundian Wars, Fribourg and Bernese troops stormed and damaged the building on 3 January 1475.

In 1900, it was partly repaired and expanded and served a community of Trappist monks.

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

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