On Sunday morning I still had a few hours to kill before my cousin Werner was coming to pick us up. I had visited Lenzburg Castle on my first trip to Switzerland, but I decided to burn a few calories and climb up to the castle again. The footpath going up the hill is a combination of steps and paved pathway. Before long I was high above the city.
Before me loomed Lenzburg Castle, one of the best preserved and most important castles in Switzerland.
The castle was built in the 11th century and was the fortress of the Counts of Lenzburg. It later was passed on to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarrosa and then the Counts of Kyborg. Through marriage the castle then passed to the Hapsburg family in the 1300s. Then in the 1400s the city of Berne pushed the Hapsburgs out of the region, and the castle became the seat of the Bernese bailiffs for more than three centuries. The bailiffs administrated the Lenzburg area in the interest of the Bernese state and collected revenues.
Here we are approaching the outer gate of the castle which was added in 1628.
Over the gate is the coat of arms of the bailiff at that time.
Then a flight of steps leads to the inner gate.
Passing through the inner gate, you enter the castle courtyard which is surrounded by buildings built during different periods of the castle's long history.
The Knights' Hall was built during the Hapsburg era.
Rooms in the castle are furnished to reflect the different eras when the bailiffs of Berne resided here...
… to the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
In the 1800s the castle was privately owned. In 1893 it was purchased by a wealthy American, Edward Jessup, whose wife was related to the British royal family. Several rooms are furnished as they were during their residence.
The western end of the compound is now filled with a flower garden.
From the ramparts there is a fine view of Lenzburg with the "Old Town" directly below the hill.