Thun, BE show Website
The medieval castle built in the 12th century thrones high above the old town of Thun. Easily identifiable from afar by the towers in the four corners of its majestic donjon, the castle offers a remarkable view of the city, the lake and the surrounding mountains. The donjon's five great halls host the historical museum, with a permanent collection containing many significant artefacts. Additionally the special exhibitions room hosts annually changing exhibitions on topics relating to the region and its history.
The modern castle complex was originally a fortress. An archaeological excavation carried out in 2013 in the course of some construction work has confirmed that by the 12th century the castle had consisted of a residential building as well as an enclosing wall.
After the not entirely peaceful annexation of the castle complex by the Dukes of Zähringen, Berchtold V oversaw the construction of the imposing donjon.
However the von Zährings never intended to live in the castle but preferred to stay in their residence in Burgdorf. The mighty castle tower served mainly as a reminder of their power and influence in the region and over local trade routes. Moreover the donjon itself was not a suitable living space. Located at the height of 14 metres the knight's hall served as an impressive representative room and today it is one of the best-preserved halls of the High Middle Ages.
From the the 12th century onwards the castle complex was the seat of the rulers of Thun and was constantly adapted to new uses. While the Counts of Kyburg did not undertake any significant changes to its architecture, the long rule of Berne up to 2006 saw some significant construction work, such as the addition of the regional court building to the castle complex. From the 17th century the donjon also housed a prison until a new prison was built near the city wall in 1886. For some time the prison warden also sold tickets and served as a guard for the museum, which opened in the donjon in 1888.
After 800 years in public ownership the year 2010 saw a significant change in the castle’s history. The city of Thun sold the properties in the castle grounds - with the exception of the donjon. In 2014 a conference and education centre, a hotel and a restaurant opened and the museum received a new entrance and an additional showroom.
November to January: every Sunday from 1 – 4 pm
February and March: daily 1 – 4 pm
April through to October: daily 10 am– 5 pm
Open daily from 24 December to 7 January from 13-16h.
- Adults: CHF 10.- (museum of the castle), CHF 5.- (special exhibiton), CHF 15.- (combined ticket)
- AHV/IV, apprentices, students, military: CHF 8.-
- Children (6 to 16 years): CHF 3.-
- PanoramaCard/ Visitorscard and groups of 10 persons and more: CHF 8.-
- Kulturlegi: CHF 6.-
- Schweizer Museumspass, Raiffeisen Membercard, Swiss Travel Pass, MuseumPassMusées and children under 6 years of age: Free entry
- Family card (2 adults + 2 children): CHF 20.-
- From 10 persons: CHF 8.- per person
- Swiss Museum Pass
- Raiffeisen Member Card
- Children under 6 years
Dogs are not allowed in the castle.
Castle court and special exhibition are handicapped accessible.
Schloss Hotel Thun
By train or boat to Thun, 10 minutes walk to the castle.
Car parks nearby.
On a guided tour of the medieval castle with its historical museum, you can immerse yourself in a time long past. Depending on the date of the tour, you can expect different main topics. Find out more about Thun's history right at the place of origin!
Booking and information under: Thun Castle