The Hexenturm is a stone tower in Sarnen. The name ('Witch tower') refers to it being used as a prison for suspected witches in the 17th century. Today it houses the Cantonal Archives of Obwalden.
The tower was built around 1285/86 as the residence tower of larger castle complex, the Unteren Burg von Sarnen or Lower Sarnen Castle. The castle was built for the von Kellner family who were knights in service to the Murbach Abbey. The first member of the family to appear in records is the cellarius Heinrich at the monastery in 1229. The family name may be a form of the title and office that he held. The sons of Heinrich and his brothers were the knights Niklaus and Heinrich Kellner who built the castle. Niklaus probably lived in Sarnen, while his brother lived in Lucerne. In 1291 the Habsburgsbought the town of Lucerne and the Unterwalden estates, including the castle and surrounding farms, from Murbach Abbey. The Kellner family became vassals of the Habsburg-Laufenburg line. When the Everlasting League was created on 1 August 1291, the Kellners found themselves at odds with their neighbors and by 1308 they had been driven out. The last Kellner, Heinrich, died in 1348.
After the Kellners were forced out, the Landenburg family occupied the castle. The 15th century White Book of Sarnen contains a story about how in the early 14th century local Swiss patriots stormed a castle and burned it on Christmas Eve while the pro-Habsburg nobleman was attending Mass. Traditionally it was believed that the attack happened to nearby Landenberg Castle, though more recent research indicates that it may have been the Hexenturm.
By the 15th century, the tower was a prison for the Canton of Obwalden. In the 16th century it was repaired and occasionally used to store powder and records. During the 17th century witch-hunts the tower was used to hold accused witches, leading to the name. At some time before 1798 the prison cell at the top of the tower was demolished. The fortifications around the tower gradually fell into disrepair and in the 19th century were demolished and replaced with terraces. In 1877 it was supposed to become a museum. A new entrance was built and some of the old windows were bricked up, but the museum never opened. Today the cantonal archives are stored in the tower.References:
The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III 'the Noble' until its conquest by Castile (1512). The fortification is both castle and palace, although it was built more like a courtier building to fulfill a military function.
On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.
Then the palace was housing the Navarrese court from the 14th until 16th centuries, Since the annexation (integration) of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile in 1512 began the decline of the castle and therefore its practically neglect and deterioration. At that time it was an official residence for the Viceroys of Navarre.
In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.