Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lake Thun

For some great castle touring head to the Lake Thun area in central Switzerland, just south of Bern. In the town of Thun itself, you'll find the 12th-century Schloss Thun on the hill. It contains a good historical museum and there are fine views from the turrets of the Romanesque tower. One of the best castles around the lake is the 13th-century Schloss Oberhofen, which was once held by the Habsburgs; it has a good collection of grand furniture, portraits and weapons, and even boasts a Turkish smoking room. The gardens were landscaped in the 19th century and are a fine place for a stroll. Schloss Hunegg, at nearby Hilterfingen, was built in the 1860s and renovated in 1900. It's a fascinating mix of neo-Renaissance and art nouveau styles and has a funky split-level bathroom complete with a nickel-plated bathtub. If you're a castle buff, you can squeeze in a visit to all three fortifications in a day-trip by boat.

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