Spiez, BE show Website
Located on a peninsula in Lake Thun, this castle and its chapel are a cultural heritage site of national importance. A new permanent exhibition interactively introduces visitors to the location’s 1300 year-old history. Hands-on crafting stations, 3D-viewers and tours like our knight's trail ensure a great experience for children and families. Art aficionados will particularly enjoy our special exhibitions: In 2019 the castle is hosting works by Marc Chagall. The park, rose garden and Baroque herbary are ideal surroundings for a short stroll. The Romanesque chapel with its beautiful frescos is yet another cultural jewel on the shores of Lake Thun and provides the stylish setting for private events and weddings.
Changing times, shifting ownership
As illustrated by a spectacularly furnished tomb dating back to AD 680 shows, the peninsula in the Bay of Spiez had already become a centre of power at the time of the arrival of the Alamanni. In the 12th century the Lords of Strättlingen constructed a great hall and stone tower at this location. Depictions of jousts in the tower as well as descriptions by the minstrel Heinrich von Strättlingen recorded in the Codex Manesse attest to the courtly lifestyle they cultivated.
In 1338 the von Bubenbergs, a prominent Bernese family, gained ownership of the castle. The most prominent member of the von Bubenberg family was Adrian von Bubenberg, who successfully defended the small town of Murten (Morat) during the Burgundian Wars.
In 1516 Ludwig von Erlach bought the castle and it remained in the hands of the von Erlach family until 1875. In 1614 Franz Ludwig von Erlach oversaw the construction of a ceremonial hall, which he had decorated with Early Baroque stucco work by the Ticino artist Antonio Castelli.
In 1927 the "Spiez Castle Foundation" took over the upkeep of the castle and made it accessible to the public.
Tracing the castle’s former inhabitants
The new exhibition focuses on the former inhabitants of the castle. Today the medieval keep brings to life Heinrich von Strättlingen’s living environment with its jousting knights and serenading minstrels. In the Gothic parlour rooms visitors encounter Adrian von Bubenberg, sitting atop his warhorse, and the second floor is dedicated to Franz Ludwig von Erlach, his two wives and 37 children. A feast is being prepared in the castle kitchens and in the Baroque hall a lute plays a merry tune.
A castle for young and old alike
Young children will particularly enjoy the knight's trail and the game of cards, which provide a playful opportunity to travel back to a time when the castle was still occupied. A diverse range of events, from tours and excursions to concerts and the "Spiezer Tagungen" conference, offer an interesting and educational experience for adults.
A variety of additional material as well as specialised tours and workshops are available to schools and groups. The museum shop offers books, maps, gifts, toys as well as local specialities and "Spiez wine". The castle café offers coffee and snacks. The café also offers drinks receptions for private parties and the former TV chef Torsten Götz hosts a culinary workshop for guests.
Around the castle
A visit to the castle is very easily combined with a boat tour on Lake Thun, which will also stop at some of the other castles on the shores of the lake. For the artistically minded visitors the Picasso exhibition at the Interlaken Museum of Art holds a special interest. Last but not least the area surrounding the castle is ideal for walking and hiking.
19 April to 20 October 2019
Monday: 2 – 5 pm
Tuesday to Sunday: 10 pm – 5 pm
July and August until 6 pm
- Castle museum: CHF 13.-
- Reduced: CHF 8.-
- Children 6-16 years: CHF 2.-
- Castle museum and special exhibition: CHF 15.-
- Reduced: CHF 13.-
Families and groups
- Families: 2 adults and up to 4 children until 16 years: CHF 20.-
- Guided tours for groups (max. 22 persons): CHF 150.- and reduced entry per person
Reduced Entrance (valid only with an identifiction card)
- Senior citizens
- Students up to 30 years
- groups up to 12 persons
- Culture Card (Kulturlegi)
- Guest card „Berner Oberland“
Free Entrance incl. temporary exhibitions (valid only with an identifiction card)
- Members Association of Friends of the Castle Spiez
- Swiss Museum Pass
- Raiffeisen Card (Member Plus)
- Swiss Travel Pass
Castle church, park, baroque herb garden and rosarium are publicly accessible.
Picnic area, playground, restaurants and swimming bath are within walking distance.
The special exhibition is handicapped accessible, but not the castle museum.
By train to Spiez railway station (30 minutes from Bern, 15 minutes from Interlaken West), then 12 minutes by feet.
By boat, 5 minutes of walk to the castle.
Parking area at the castle.
Combine your visit to the castle ...
... with a trip on the steamboat Blümlisalp and discover the other castles on Lake Thun.
... with a swim in Lake Thun (seven minutes' walk from the castle to the bathing area)
... with a walk along the Spiez circuit trail
... with an exotic experience at Tropenhaus Frutigen (10 minutes by train).
Wines and schnaps from the region