The rocky heights above Brienz Lake were first occupied and fortified by the Late-Bronze Age. During the Middle Ages, the land around the castle was owned by the Barons of Brienz and Raron. Around 1231, they moved to Ringgenberg village and soon thereafter into the castle. Ringgenberg Castle was probably built in several stages during the 13th century. It first appears in the historical record in 1240.

During the 13th century, the Counts of Ringgenberg expanded their power, often at the expense of Interlaken Abbey. The ruin of the estate began in the time of Philipp von Ringgenberg (1351–1374). In 1351 part of the estate was sold to the Abbey. In 1381 Ringgenberg castle was burnt and plundered by troops from the Canton of Uri and Count Petermann von Ringgenberg was taken in chains to Obwalden. In 1386, the castle and lands were assigned to Bern. However the city lacked the funds to rebuild the burned castle and in 1411 and 1439 parts of the castle and village were sold to Interlaken. A few years later, in 1445, Bern reacquired the land, but lost it again in 1457.

In 1528, the city of Bern adopted the new faith of the Protestant Reformation and began imposing it on the Bernese Oberland. Ringgenberg joined many other villages and the Abbey in an unsuccessful rebellion against the new faith. After Bern imposed its will on the Oberland, they secularized the Abbey and annexed all the Abbey lands. Ringgenberg became a part of the Bernese bailiwick of Interlaken.

The church was built in the ruins of Ringgenberg Castle in 1670 under the architect Abraham Dunz. Dunz incorporated the castle walls and one of the wall towers into the new village church.

The castle ruins were repaired and renovated in 1928, 1946–49 and 2006–08.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Ranadeep Singh (7 months ago)
I had a very scary experience. I was there at 6:40pm today and I could feel a very negative vibe. As soon as I get up the stairs to the flat area I feel very uneasy. I instantly try going back down the stairs and the church bell rings (even though it was 6:41pm!). I run towards the main road. At the bend at the end of the street just before the main road, on the right side, there was a yellow beetle car in front of an abandoned wooden house. As soon as I turn back at the yellow beetle, I see a blonde woman looking back at me. I ran as fast as I could. Scariest thing that's ever happened to me!!!
Karlo Beyer Location Scouting (14 months ago)
Open during daytime, well renovated church of the medievil castle of Ringgenberg.
Loi Foo Chin (20 months ago)
Alternative destination to harder kulm (which is closed during winter)
Edd Russell (2 years ago)
Interesting church/historic site with nice views of Brienzesee. There are explanatory signs up which give the history of the region and the church. It is a good climb up the stairs to the top, but the view is awesome.
Kisya Ito (3 years ago)
nice old castle.
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