History

 

All about us

History

 The present day castle with its adjoining buildings was originally a fortress. There was a stately home with a residential building and a curtain wall already in the 12th century. This is confirmed by archaeological research, which took place during the big reconstruction in 2013.

It can be presumed that the Dukes of Zähringen did not take over the compound quite peacefully. Berchtold V had the up to the present day well-preserved monumental donjon integrated in the compound. The Zähriger never intended to live here as they had a residence built in Burgdorf. Yet, it is with this imposing tower that they could leave a sign of their power over the region and the local trading paths. The donjon is unsuitable as a permanent residence as it is actually a single 14-metre high room, which is now called the Grand Hall. In its time an imposing place of representation, today one of the best-preserved representation halls of the Middle Ages.

Since the 12th century, Thun Castle with its adjoining buildings was the domicile of Thun nobility and was always reconstructed to suit their use. No building measures were taken during the time of the Dukes of Kyburg, yet there were many changes under the long reign of Berne up to 2006; these changes also including the offices of the regional court. Since the 17th century, there had also been a prison under the roof of the donjon. 1886 the Canton of Berne erected the new regional prison on the castle wall. The prison warden was also responsible as the ticket seller and as the guard of the museum that was opened in the Donjon.

In 2010 a fundamental change happened. After 800 years of being in the possession of the public, the city of Thun sold the property of the former castle area with the exception of the donjon leasehold. Midyear 2014 a conference and training centre were opened including a hotel and a restaurant. The museum has received a new entrance area and an additional exhibition room.