Lenzburg Castle ranks among the oldest and most important of Switzerland. The castle stands on the almost circular castle hill, which rises approximately 100 m the surrounding plain.
The prominent hill was already a settlement site in prehistoric times. For example, in 1959 a Neolithic gravesite was uncovered in the carpark. There have also been small discoveries from the Roman and Alemannic eras.
The oldest parts of the castle date to the 11th century, when the Counts of Lenzburg built it as their seat. The Palas (residence of the Count) was built in 1100 as a 4-storey, 18 m high fortified building. Together with the adjacent tower, it is one of the oldest buildings in the castle complex. In about 1230 Lenzburg castle came by marriage into the possession of the Counts of Kyburg. They then founded a fortified market settlement at the western base of the castle hill, today's town of Lenzburg.
In 1509–10, extensive work was carried out at the castle, including partial demolition and rebuilding of the unfinished Knights' Hall. In 1518 there was a serious fire. In 1520 the Landvogt received a new residence, the Landvogtei. During the Second war of Kappel in 1531, the castle served as base of operations for the Protestants.
In 1624 Landvogt Joseph Plepp drew the first precise drawings and plans of the castle, which at the time had more the appearance of a fortified farmhouse. His plans formed the basis for plans to expand it into a fortress. As the first step, in 1625 a double curtain wall and double gatehouse were constructed in a new position in the north section and the height of the earthen embankments on the east and south sides was increased. From 1642 to 1646, a wall eleven metres high was raised to form the east bastion.
During the 18th century, the Bernese developed the castle into a large grain store. For this purpose, the individual buildings were connected and partially hollowed out.
The Aargau Museum includes has a collection of approximately 40,000 historic artefacts, assembled from various sources: cantonal property, private collections bequeathed to the canton, public collections, purchases, and gifts.
Today, Lenzburg Castle offers a wide range of cultural events and activities as well as exhibitions of Aargau Museum.References:
Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.
The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.