Utzenstorf, BE show Website
Landshut Castle, the only surviving moated castle in the canton of Bern, lies in the middle of a magnificent park. Built on a sandstone hill, it proudly towers over the former alluvial plain of the lower Emme. Its rooms house exhibitions on 17th-century living culture and for more than 50 years have also been home to the Swiss Museum of Game and Hunting with its outstanding La Roche collection of hunting history.
Finds from the Neolithic period attest to early settlement in the fertile area on the lower Emmelauf. We do not know anything precise about the history of the foundation of Landshut Castle. As early as 1009, a county of Uranestorfus is first mentioned in documents. It is plausible that around the year 1000 there was already a first fortified complex on the sandstone hill surrounded by water. However, the actual construction of castles in Landshut did not begin until the 2nd half of the 12th century. The castle itself appears in documents in 1253 under the name "Landeshuothe" - hat or protection of the land.
Creating understanding, sharing knowledge
At the beginning of the 15th century, the Bernese councillor and mayor Rudolf von Ringoltingen (ca.1385-ca.1456) acquired the castle and extended it. His son Thüring von Ringoltingen (ca. 1415-ca. 1483), also mayor of Bern and gifted with literary ambitions, translated the French verse novel on the story of the water fairy Melusina into German around 1456. Economically unsuccessful, he had to sell Landshut Castle and Lordship to one of his sons-in-law. Finally, in 1514, the Republic of Bern took over the castle and established the Landshut bailiwick (with Bätterkinden, Utzenstorf, Wiler and Zielebach). Until the fall of Old Bern in 1798, 55 bailiffs resided at Landshut Castle.
Landshut Castle took on its present form at the beginning of the 18th century, when the owner at the time, Niklaus Rudolf von Wattenwyl (1760-1832), Bernese Schultheiss and former Landammann of Switzerland, redesigned the castle and park according to his own plans and created an idyllic country estate in the midst of extensive parkland designed according to English models.
After a chequered history of ownership, the Canton of Bern finally acquired the entire castle complex in 1957. Since 1988, the then newly established Stiftung Schloss Landshut has been the owner. In addition to the castle buildings and the landscaped park, the entire complex of Landshut Castle includes a stately residential building and a farm building, which today houses the Swiss Game Station and the Swiss Hunting Library.
Opening Hours 2023: Sunday 14 May 2023 until Sunday 14 October.
The park is open to the public all year round.
- 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.