Largest castle in Bern to be saved with major facelift

Largest castle in Bern to be saved with major facelift

The city of Bern has unveiled ambitious plans to restore the dilapidated Grasburg Castle in Schwarzenburg, to prevent further damage and erosion to the building’s fortifications.

Grasburg renovations to begin in the coming days

According to a press release issued by the de-facto capital city of Switzerland, the renovations on the castle will begin soon - as quickly as within a few days. It is hoped that the construction project will be finished in the autumn of 2023. 

One of the difficulties with the project is the Swiss weather, which can make conditions for construction less than desirable in the winter. For this reason, a large part of the bailey - the castle’s tower - and fortifications around the Grasburg will be completed in spring 2023, while other parts will be restored in 2022, in the frost-free season between March and October.

One of the main reasons for the renovation is the fact that the structure of the castle has been eroding over the years, posing a risk to the safety of visitors. To help address the problem, the construction team has sought the assistance of a helicopter for transporting building materials to the site. The cantonal archaeological service will also be assisting with the project, to ensure that the site is maintained. 

Renovations to Grasburg Castle largely funded by Swiss lottery 

The funding for the project is coming from the pockets of several different organisations, but is in large part expected to be made possible through subsidies from the cantonal lottery fund and the Federal Office of Culture. The city council in Bern gave approval for a loan of 880.000 Swiss francs to fund the project, and the local council (Gemeinde) has also pledged a financial contribution of around 50.000 Swiss francs. 

The castle was built in the 13th century by the Staufers, one of the imperial families of the Holy Roman Empire, and is a treasured historic site in Switzerland. It is hoped that after the restoration, the castle will attract more visitors.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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