Habsburg Castle near the Aare River was the original seat of the House of Habsburg, which became one of the leading imperial and royal dynasties in Europe. At the time of its construction, the location was part of the Duchy of Swabia.

Around 1020–1030 Count Radbot, of the nearby county of Klettgau in the Duchy of Swabia, had the castle erected. It is believed that he named the castle after a hawk (Habicht) seen sitting on its walls. Radbot's grandson, Otto II, was the first to take the Habsburg Castle name as his own, adding 'von Habsburg' to his title and creating the House of Habsburg.

Habsburg Castle's importance diminished after Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph moved the family's power base to Austria in 1276. Habsburg Castle remained property of the House of Habsburg until 1415, when Duke Frederick IV of Austria lost the canton of Aargau to the Swiss Confederacy.

The original coat of arms to fly over Habsburg Castle, a red lion on a golden field, remained part of the Austrian arms up to the end of the imperial period. The modern arms of the municipality of Habsburg, Switzerland, depict Habsburg Castle.

The area around the castle was covered by forests that were only cleared around 1500, nearly half a millennium after Habsburg Castle was first constructed.

Today the large and small towers of the original castle are preserved, attached to a residential building of the 13th century, while large parts of the complex lie in ruins. The extent of its eastern part is recognizable only by foundation walls. The palatial residence hosts a restaurant and a small exhibition.

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Habsburg, Switzerland
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Founded: 1020-1030
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nicolas Niklewicz (45 days ago)
Nice historical place where we celebrated a very nice wedding of friends in the Rittersaal!
Matt M (2 months ago)
The castle is nice....but I wasn't served in the restaurant at 11am. Just wanted to have some coffee and enjoy the view but nobody cared to take my order, so I left.
Ruedi Kugler (2 months ago)
Great place, lovely views from the top of the hill and tower.
Frantisek Trgo (2 months ago)
Nice place, but unfortunately it was closed during our visit at winter time (until end of March)
Jeffrey Meyer (3 months ago)
Small castle with nice views. You can play audio recordings that explain the story of the castle in a family friendly way. I couldn't go into the castle because the restaurant was closed.
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Apart from the castle itself, the entire complex includes a park which has no precise boundaries and includes nearby fields, meadows and a forest. Only the main axis of the park can be characterised as geometrical. Starting from the gate, it leads along the oak and then horse-chestnut avenues, towards the castle. Further on, the park passes into an avenue of lime trees with symmetrical canals running along both sides of the path, lined with a few varieties of rhododendrons. The axis of the park terminates at the base of a former monument of Hubert von Tiele-Winckler. On the eastern side of the avenue there is a pond with an islet referred to by the owners as Easter Island. The islet is planted with needle-leaved shrubs and can be reached by a Chinese-styled bridge. The garden, as part of the whole park complex was restored slightly earlier than the castle itself. Preserved documents of 1868 state that the improvement in the garden's aesthetic quality was undertaken by Hubert von Tiele-Winckler.