Chateau Hunegg, Switzerland – A masterpiece on Lake Thun

A boat trip on Lake Thun

I try to put a little something extra in my every trip with a cable car or boat trip. I’m always attracted to see the area from a height or from the water. Back home, I looked at the Swiss boat site for a tour of the Brienz and Thun lakes. I read that you can combine two lakes in one trip and the price seemed reasonable from 35 Swiss francs. Oh, that notorious European “from”. At the shipping office explained that 35 francs one way, and we need to go back to Thun and pick up our iron horse from the parking lot. All in all, tickets for two cost me 140 francs for the cruise. Departure was at 11:40 in the afternoon, and we walked the promenade for almost an hour waiting for the appointed time.

It seemed to me that on the day off the ships should be more, and, yes, the navigation on our Lake Constance starts earlier, and here we have only 4 trips a day. Finally you can get on the boat, anti-ship safety measures are strictly enforced. Even at the stern people are required to sit in masks. We checked our tickets and were given a plan for navigating the lakes. We clarified once again that we had tickets for two lakes back and forth, the assistant captain nodded, but looked at us strangely somehow. Smoothly and majestically, like a white swan our boat left the canal and entered the Tuna Lake.

On a sunny day there were a lot of tourists on the boat, so we took a strategically comfortable place for photographing and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us. Alpine landscapes, blue smooth surface of the lake, pretty Swiss villages. One minus, the captain only announces the stops, but does not tell the history of the places. Not without reason, Switzerland is called “the country of mountains and lakes. The country has more than 1,500 lakes, together with the rivers they occupy 4 percent of the country!

Little Switzerland has 6 percent of all fresh water reserves. The lake of Thun is considered by many as the jewel in the crown of the Bernese highlands. Not only is the lake itself picturesque surrounded by alpine mountains, but its shores are a scattering of pearl castles. The beautiful, romantic, neo-Gothic Schadau Castle (Schadau) attracts attention.

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This castle was built for the banker Denis Alfred de Rougemont in 1847-1854, on the site of an old mansion. To me, Schadau reminded me of the castles of the Loire, the same neo-Renaissance style with Gothic elements. You couldn’t find a better location for such beauty. On the shore of the blue lake, where the river Aare flows out of it, and in the distance the peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau can be seen, and the English garden is laid out around the castle. The banker had great taste. Although, his family probably had a different opinion, or the money for the beautiful life ran out. But the castle was sold in 1925 to the city of Thun. Now there is a gastronomy museum, hotel and restaurant. Where you can taste the national dishes and wines.

In the evening the castle looks mysterious.

I was not lazy to look at the website of the restaurant. In the historic interiors are fed beautifully and at reasonable prices (moderate as in Switzerland). The restaurant is a great place for weddings and other celebrations. No sooner had we admired the castle of Schadau, and on the horizon is already the next castle. Castle Eichbühl (Eichbühl).

Compared with neighboring castle this one is more simple and no wonder. Earlier the building belonged to protestant monastery. Now it is municipality of Hilterfingen. In a couple of kilometers another castle. Elegant and beautiful Hünegg.

Neo-Gothic again, with lots of spires and towers. Just the way I like it. The castle was built for Baron Alfred Emil von Parpart in 1861-1863. The baron was at one time an officer in the royal Prussian service, and then retired from business and settled in the area.

Following the fashion of those years, he built a Renaissance chateau on the Loire. I never thought to see a piece of the Loire on Swiss shores. Now in the castle there is a museum and you can admire the interiors in the Art Nouveau style, and take a walk in the small but pretty park. After seeing Hunegg Castle, the next beauty is on the horizon.

The picturesque village of Oberhoven with the castle. My husband and I got into a rage, and we stopped shrouding our cameras.

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In addition to the castles, there are so many beautiful well-kept cottages on the shores of the lake. Look, what a beauty!

A three-story wooden balcony with wisteria. I would have loved to live in such a house for a couple of days.

If not that one, then the one next door. Those carved balconies won my heart. Ah, another castle! No, not a castle.

It’s just a town hall, you can not only live beautifully, but also work. And, next to the pier is a real castle Oberhofen (Oberhofen).

From afar, it seemed to me toy, as from a child’s construction set.

This castle is really medieval and half-timbered tower confirms it. About this castle, I’ll write in another story.

For a long time I had to choose which castle to visit on my birthday and I chose the gingerbread castle Oberhofen. In my opinion it is the most beautiful castle on the Thun lake. The boat turns around and we slowly approach the other side of the lake. We have time to take a break from the castles and villas and admire the Alps.

If the summit of Mount Niesen was covered by clouds, the Stockhorn and Niederhorn were not shy to show themselves in all their glory.

Boat trip on the Lake of Thun

There was almost always a light breeze on the lake. On the way back there was even a storm. What immediately took advantage of surfers and lovers of sailing. There were also enough paragliders over the lake. My Uwe managed to fry his forehead and the top of his head in the cooler weather, with a mask covering the rest of his face. The subalpine climate is so treacherous:)

Lake Thun is the largest body of water in the canton of Bern Highlands (Oberland). On the Swiss website of the lake is called: “Riviera of the Oberland. In contrast to Lake Constance, Lake Geneva and Lake Maggiore, Lake Thun is entirely on Swiss soil.

It is of glacial origin. It all began with Lake Wendel during the last ice age. Over time, part of the lake shallowed. Land appeared in what is now Interlaken, the Lower Lake emerged. Glacial Lake Wendel split into two bodies of water: Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and they were connected by the frisky Aare. The first settlements on the shores of the lake date back to the Bronze Age. I already wrote in my last story that the middle of the nineteenth century was marked by a boisterous navigation on both lakes.

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The paddle steamer “Blümlisalp” is the pride of the flotilla. Late May is not yet the season for beach holidays, but in the summer the lake shores are filled with vacationers. The best beaches are near the fashionable hotels.

Boat trip on the Lake of Thun

I did not take pictures of the 5-star hotel guests waving to us as they basked in the pool on the terrace in front of the lake. Full feeling that we really are on the Riviera. The boat came to the other shore, and we are admiring another castle.

Spiez Castle (Spiez) looks better from the land. Photos of the castle from the ship are partially overlapped by the pier. The medieval castle of Spiez has a glorious history. The castle was founded by King Rudolf II of Burgundy in 933. In the XIII century around the castle the city of Spitz appeared. In the Middle Ages who did not own the city and the castle: the French barons, the Habsburg viceroys, the Swabian dukes marked here. What we see now are the complete reconstructions of the XVII-XVIII centuries. Now the castle is a museum of toys and interiors. Spitz Castle was under partial restoration. It is because of her did not visit this castle on the final day. Although, I would have walked around the park on a sunny day with pleasure. Just above, on the mountain is the Wimmis castle, and in the neighborhood is another castle, Amsoldingen. Not a lake, but a whole mecca for castle lovers. I have not even begun to describe how many ruins in the neighborhood. In the area of Spitz you can walk on terraced vineyards.

In my opinion they look no worse than the famous Lavaux Vineyard Terraces of Lake Geneva. First class grapes are grown here. Lovers of dry wines will appreciate Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Fans of fruity flavors will enjoy Cabernet Jura and Cabernet Dorsa. Those interested in learning more about Spitz winemaking should visit the local wine museum. If you don’t have much time, you can admire Lake Thun from the train window. The railroad line runs along the south side of the lake.

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Don’t like castles, you might be interested in the caves. On Thun Lake and the caves are like fashionable villas.

Can a cave entrance be so beautiful? Authoritative assertion, it can!

Today we will admire the caves of St. Beatus (St. Beatus-Höhlen) from the water, and in a few days we will explore from the inside.

It is very convenient that the boat approaches the Beatenbucht pier. From here, you can take the funicular to the top of the Niederhorn.

Chateau Hunegg, Switzerland – A masterpiece on Lake Thun

Five kilometers from Thun on the shores of Lake Thun is the village of Hilterfingen / Hilterfingen.

In the year 1000 Hilterfingen became one of the 12 villages in the region of Lake Thun, where a Romanesque church was built by Queen Bertha and King Rudolph II of Burgundy. The 12 churches were meant to symbolize the 12 gates to the holy city of Jerusalem.

In the second half of the 19th century Hilterfingen became a resort, and hotels and pensions began to appear along the shore. One big hotel “Seehof Hilterfingen” (arch. Johann Frutiger), built in 1903 in the rustic style, still stands on the shore of the lake.

Inspired by the Renaissance castles of the Loire Blois and Chenonceau, Baron Albert Emil Otto von Parpart, a Prussian army officer from 1861 to 1863 had a large villa built in Hilterfingen called Schloss Hünegg.

The house was built by the young 26-year-old Berlin architect Heino Schmieden.

It was then owned by the Lemke-Schuckert couple. In 1900, the new owners of the castle completely redesigned the interiors in the Art Nouveau style. Since then the interiors of the castle have never been changed, and now it is a rare case, when we see not a reconstruction, but absolutely authentic interiors of a rich Art Nouveau house.

House equipment, interiors, furniture – everything is so functional, well thought out and comfortable that you can even today “move in” and live with all the comforts. Around the castle is a huge relief park with unique trees and shrubs. In general, the owners of the castle – a couple of intelligent people and a dog Barry – just lived comfortably.

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At the entrance to the castle, the owners have equipped a small room for umbrellas and raincoats.

The house has an electric servant call system with call buttons and a central remote control.

A luxurious staircase leads to the front rooms.

The upper landing of the staircase is decorated in the style of A. Mucha.

Small passageways lead to the front rooms.

The dog Barry had his own chair.

Among the front rooms there is a small winter garden.

The master bedroom looks very cozy.

A walk-in closet adjoins the bedroom.

Next to it there is a master bathroom.

The bathroom has two tubs – reclining and sitting, made of stainless steel.

Water supply and drainage system:

Marble sink countertop and water inlet/drainage system:

Adjacent to the living quarters is a small auxiliary kitchen.

This kitchen was for making tea and coffee and warming up food.

The main large kitchen is in the semi-basement.

The spacious room is tiled and has a ventilation system. In the center of the kitchen is a multi-functional stove with ovens.

The stove has an oven, grill and fryer.

The kitchen is well-stocked with appliances for wiping, chopping, and slicing.

Knives are German, a well-known brand.

Cookware cabinets with work surfaces:

Marble sink with a chopping “wing” and separate taps:

Dishwasher with wood sink and dishwasher protection from damage and drain stop design.

An electric bell was used to summon servants to change dishes.

Sink for hand washing:

All kitchen towels are signed.

Interesting design for storing spoon-cooks:

Next to the large kitchen in the semi-basement is a special laundry and ironing room. It even has an old ironing machine.

Also in the semi-basement are the servants’ quarters, the dining room for the servants and a large bathroom for the servants.

Surprisingly, the equipment and facilities of the old castle are quite in line with modern ideas of a comfortable home. The rooms are comfortable and cozy, and, as we said at the beginning, you just want to pack your bags and move into this old house.

About Chateau Hunegg we can rightly say that it is one of the best museums in Switzerland. The museum has one drawback – the castle is open to visitors ONLY from the middle of May to the middle of October.

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