Castle Trachselwald

Castle Trachselwald

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

12This is a view of the castle from the neighboring village of Trachselwald.

22This photo shows a history of the building of the castle. It is hanging in the courtyard near the entrance from the stairs.

20As you come up the hill, the first parking lot for the castle is here and you can enter the main courtyard of the castle by taking these covered stairs.

DSC_0072Rules for visiting the castle. It is of course in German, the local language of Swiss German.

 

DSC_0102Or you can come around the back side and come up the ramp. There is another parking lot here.

30Then you will enter the courtyard through these doors. Note that it is paved with bricks.

40Now 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.

IMG_9234This is one of the doors leading into the courtyard.

50A walkway leading off of the courtyard. The tower for prisoners is the wall on the left.

DSC_0120These steps lead off of the courtyard to more rooms on the second level.

60This 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.

DSC_0083The 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.

70This 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.

80This is the top room on the tower. We are told that prisoners, including Anabaptists were tortured in this room.  There is one cell on the right.

81This is a cell on one of the other levels. I think there were 5 or 6 levels in the tower and most of them contained cells.

82A view of a closed door from inside a cell.  The slot is for sliding in food for the prisoner.

83This 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.
84Another inside view of a cell.

DSC_0155This 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
85A view of the village Trachselwald from the top of the tower.

86Here you are looking down at the same village (Trachselwald) and you can see the gardens and pool outside the castle.

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

6 Comments

  1. thank you so much for sharing your pics of the inside . I wish there had been more of them . I am the direct decendant Stephen Trachsel . I notice this is about your history . I have seen where some one traced the Trachsel’s back to Hebrew , Asia minor . but, were the trachsel’ s Amish as well ? I was only able to go back as far as Stephen . Again , thank you so much .

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the pictures. Our pastor told us about this castle, he is a Schurch who has something to do with this castle.

    Reply
  3. Amazing Photos…Thank You Joseph; Please check out my little blog and email to chat anytime;
    delmer

    Christian Martin was an Anabaptist minister who was imprisoned for his faith (for “Religious differences – beliefs contrary to the State Church and imprisoned in Trachselwald Castle in Switzerland from July 1717 to 1732, before being able (he was probably banished) to immigrate to America on September Sept. 21, 1732, when he arrived at Philadelphia aboard the Ship Plaisance. Christian was reunited with his sons in Weaverland, who had all immigrated to America before him. This Christian Martin was the grandfather of Bishop Henry Martin 1741-1825 …To my amazement when I traced back to the above-mentioned Swiss Anabaptist Mennonite Christian Martin 1669-1749; I have realized that in 348 years of my Martin family direct paternal line/history there are only 4 homestead farms and only 3 burial grounds and only 3 old meetinghouses that have ever joined/separated/supported all 10 generations of me and all my forefathers going all the way back to the year 1727 in “Weberthal” Pennsylvania. I must confess that even some family researchers and fellow church historians think I am a bit eccentric in my passion/pilgrimage, but one must understand that my farm deed went from father to son from 1830 to myself, which is extremely humbling AND the fact that I regularly get to actually walk on the farmland which my ancestors farmed here in Canada AND Weaverland PA AND attend services at all 3 meetinghouse and the adjoining burial grounds which all of my forefathers were/are so connected to (2 of which are really close to my farm in Canada)

    Reply
  4. Amazing Photos…Thank You Joseph; Please check out my little blog and email to chat anytime;
    Your fellow pilgrim;
    delmer Martin

    Christian Martin was an Anabaptist minister who was imprisoned for his faith (for “Religious differences – beliefs contrary to the State Church and imprisoned in Trachselwald Castle in Switzerland from July 1717 to 1732, before being able (he was probably banished) to immigrate to America on September Sept. 21, 1732, when he arrived at Philadelphia aboard the Ship Plaisance. Christian was reunited with his sons in Weaverland, who had all immigrated to America before him. This Christian Martin was the grandfather of Bishop Henry Martin 1741-1825 …To my amazement when I traced back to the above-mentioned Swiss Anabaptist Mennonite Christian Martin 1669-1749; I have realized that in 348 years of my Martin family direct paternal line/history there are only 4 homestead farms and only 3 burial grounds and only 3 old meetinghouses that have ever joined/separated/supported all 10 generations of me and all my forefathers going all the way back to the year 1727 in “Weberthal” Pennsylvania. I must confess that even some family researchers and fellow church historians think I am a bit eccentric in my passion/pilgrimage, but one must understand that my farm deed went from father to son from 1830 to myself, which is extremely humbling AND the fact that I regularly get to actually walk on the farmland which my ancestors farmed here in Canada AND Weaverland PA AND attend services at all 3 meetinghouse and the adjoining burial grounds which all of my forefathers were/are so connected to (2 of which are really close to my farm in Canada)

    Reply
  5. My husband had a family member imprisoned in the castle. His wife and children came to America and waited his arrival. It was interesting to see where they were kept.

    Reply
    • Linda Hartman, Please tell me how you found out that your family member was imprisoned in this castle. Where did you locate those records? Cindy

      Reply

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