Utzenstorf, BE show Website
Landshut, the last intact moated castle in the canton of Bern, sits proudly atop a sandstone hill, surrounded by a large pond and peaceful park with its many streams, above the otherwise flat countryside at the lower end of the Emmental. The building has housed a museum on the castle’s history, lifestyles and home life in the 17th century for many years and, for the last 50, has also accommodated the Swiss Hunting Museum.
A variety of finds from the Stone Age and later eras confirm that buildings and defensive towers were constructed at the current site very early on. The area was regularly flooded by the Emme river, and the little rise offered safety and protection. Like every castle, Landshut has had a long and varied history. First mentioned in a contract in 1253, it was the seat of 55 Bernese provincial governors from 1514 until, in 1798, Napoleon overthrew the existing order, ushering in the decline of the old Bernese city state and with it the Old Confederation.
The castle acquired its present-day form around 200 years ago, when it was turned into a comfortable country seat with a grand park in the English style by the former President of the Swiss Diet and Mayor of Bern Niklaus Rudolf von Wattenwyl. After many further changes of ownership, the estate was purchased by the Canton of Bern in 1957. The Landshut Castle Foundation, its current owner, was established in 1988. It includes the castle and park, as well as the “Schlossstock” and the farm building, which today houses the Swiss Wildlife Station and the Swiss Hunting Library.
Creating understanding, sharing knowledge
The Hunting Museum – the only one of its kind in Switzerland – was moved to Landshut from its previous location at Heidegg Castle, Lucerne, in 1968. The aim of its exhibitions has always been to educate about game animals and the people who hunt them, to foster understanding of wildlife protection and hunting, and to break down barriers between agriculture and forestry on the one hand, and hunting on the other. The permanent exhibitions, featuring preserved animals and rare objects, provide information about current and historical aspects of hunting and nature. They also present collections of European importance, such as the Dr. René La Roche Collection on the History of Hunting, where visitors can admire magnificent and rare hunting accessories and weapons. The Dr. Werner K. Flachs Collection of Hunting Horns offers an interesting insight into the use of the hunting horn and also includes some entertaining audio samples. More than 70 dummy birds used as decoys from Europe and America illustrate the great artistic skill of their manufacturers – and also the guile of hunters.
Special exhibitions on various topics related to nature and hunting are staged every one or two years. The 2018 exhibition is entitled “Lipstick and Cartridge – Women are Winning the Hunt”.
Opening hours as of 9 May 2021:
9 May to 10 Octobre 2021
Tuesday to Saturday: 2 pm to 5 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm
Closed on Mondays and on Whit Monday (17 May), Swiss National Holiday (1 August) and Federal Prayer Day (19 September)
- Adults: CHF 7.-
- Adults reduced (AHV, IV): CHF 6.-
- Children to 16 years: CHF 1.-
- As from 20 persons: CHF 6.- each
- Swiss Museum Pass
- Raiffeisen Member Cards
- Members of the Swiss Museum of Wildlife and Hunting Society
Tours can be booked during the season. Contact the castle superintendent on 032 665 40 27 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices: CHF 100, outside official opening hours during the season CHF 150 plus individual admission per person. Group size limited to 25 persons per guide, tour lasts approx. 1 hour, last tour at 5 pm.
The “reservoir of Switzerland” and the magnificent surroundings of the central plateau are a perfect day-out destination for families, school groups, nature lovers and hunting clubs.
Dogs are permitted in the park and cafeteria but must be kept on a lead.
The cafeteria is open during official museum hours. It offers seating for 30 people and is located under three large plane trees in the castle courtyard. Hikers, walkers, museum visitors and others are welcome to enjoy a hot or cold drink at this idyllic spot. Our menu also offers a selection of small sweet items.
Restaurants in the vicinity
Restaurant zum Schloss Landshut, Utzenstorf
Landgasthof Bären, Utzenstorf
Restaurant La Rôtisseria
Restaurant Freischütz, Utzenstorf
Restaurant Rössli, Utzenstorf
Landshut Castle lies on the north edge of the village of Utzenstorf.
By public transports: By train to Utzenstorf or Bätterkinden station. From Utzenstorf station: 10-minute walk along the road or approximately 20 minutes on the hiking trail. From Bätterkinden station it is a 20-minute walk, partly on the hiking trail.
By car: on the A1 motorway coming from Bern take the Kirchberg exit (no. 39), coming from Basel/Zurich take the Kriegstetten exit (no. 40). A large parking area is located at the southern entrance to the park.
Google Maps directions
Opening of the season at Landshut Castle on 10 May 2020, 10 am–5 pm
Events, themed guided tours and role-play performances take place regularly at Landshut Castle. Details are published at frequent intervals on the website.