We visited the castle called Trachselwald which is located near a village called Trachselwald and Sumiswald.
NOTE: In an earlier edition of this blog post I stated that there are private residences here and people live here. Even though it appeared so, nobody lives here now. Plans by the board that holds this treasure are to turn it into a museum and eventually you can tour most rooms of the castle. -Lester
Now you are in the courtyard. I mentioned in an earlier edition of this post that this is where the private residences are. That is not true. Although people have lived here in the past, it is now owned by a board and they wish to turn Castle Trachselwald into a museum. The top two floors of this tower will be Anabaptist/Mennonite/Amish history displays eventually. This information came from Paul Veraguth.
This is the prisoner tower. From the 1600’s to the 1800’s countless numbers of Anabaptists were kept in cells in this tower. We know Hans Haslebacher was kept here for some time before his death by beheading in Bern. Paul Veraguth, Reformed State Church Pastor, Canton of Berne, says that persecution in Switzerland ended with the invasion of Napoleon.
The lower room of the tower has no cells and contains this staircase to take you up to the next level. I have no idea what the original stairs were like but this is what visitors use now. There are stairs like this to advance to each new level.
This is one of those narrow openings for windows in the tower. It is a narrow slit outside but wide inside. You can get a good view outside as you can move from side to side. Note the thickness of the wall.
This is sort of a torture or holding bed. You can see the stocks where legs were placed and locked down. Then there are the chains attached to the walls for stocks around your hands. Prisons are not a pleasant place.
Another inside view of a cell.
This poster displayed in the tower tells of “Die Bauer Krieg” or “The Farmer’s Uprising” or as Wikipedia calls it, The Peasant’s War. Read about it here
A view of the village Trachselwald from the top of the tower.
There is much more history about Castle Trachselwald but this post is about our visit there. We were only allowed to go into the public areas. I expected to see more underground rooms, and perhaps larger castles in Germany and other places may be built different. We did not see any underground rooms, if there are any. The public places here are the courtyard and the prison tower and the surrounding grounds.
NOTE: This castle was at one time a home of the local government. It is currently in the hands of a board who wish to turn it into a museum of the local culture and area; including Anabaptist, Amish and Mennonite history. Earlier I mentioned that there are residences in this castle. Even though it does appear so, and people have lived here in the past, this castle is empty except for the displays that are currently here.
This blog post was posted earlier by Joseph Graber and contains some more information about Castle Trachselwald. http://www.myamishstory.com/2014/09/the-castle-trachselwald/
Here is another page about the Castle Trachselwald. The castle Trachselwald