Old Bümpliz Castle

Bern, Switzerland

The first structure on the site of Old Bümpliz Castle was a Burgundian royal estate which was built around 900. Around 1250-1270 a round stone tower was built in the center of the site. This round tower was quite unusual for Bernese castles but may indicate a savoyard influence. Since Peter II of Savoy held authority over Bern at the time, it is likely, but not confirmed, that the round tower was built as a symbol of Savoy's power. The round tower no longer exists, but its location is marked with a cross on the floor of the current restaurant terrace. Shortly after the construction of the tower, the wooden wall was replaced with a stone wall and a half-round tower was added to protect the wall. The round central tower was demolished in the following decades. The growing Bernese power began to force Savoy out of Bümpliz and by the late 13th century, there were Bernese nobles who were naming themselves after their estates in Bümpliz. Under the Bernese nobles, the castle remained unchanged until 1470.

In 1470 Bümpliz village and the castle became part of the lands of the powerful Bernese patrician Erlach family. The castle was rebuilt from a purely defensive structure into an impressive administrative and residential castle. A new gatehouse tower was built, and stands, almost unchanged, today. The supports and structure of the drawbridge over the moat are still visible today.

In the following century, the Old Castle became increasingly old fashioned and uncomfortable. In 1742, Daniel Tschiffely hired Albrecht Stürler to replace the old building with the Neues Schloss Bümpliz. The New Castle was built southwest of the Old Castle. During construction, much of the Old Castle was pulled down or rebuilt.

In 1839 Johann Friedrich Albrecht Tribolet bought the Old and New Castles from Carl von Tavel. He rebuilt the buildings and used them as a private sanatorium for mental patients. 

In 1979/80 the Castle was rebuilt. The gate was reopened in the gatehouse, a portion of the moat was excavated and a drawbridge added. The windows were rebuilt in the baroque style and the burned roof was rebuilt as close to original as possible. The north-west wing was rebuilt, while the north-east wing was recreated in concrete and glass. A restaurant opened in the north-east wing, the gatehouse and the courtyard. The rest of the building was converted into the Bümpliz village archives and into meeting rooms or offices.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: c. 1250
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.