Thun Tourist Attractions
The old-world town of Thun (French Thoune), which has belonged to the canton of Berne since 1384, lies on the River Aare just below its outflow from Lake Thun. Charmingly situated on both banks of the swiftly flowing green river and on a 1km/0.6mi-long island in the middle, with its castle on a hill 30 m/98ft high dominating the town, it is the gateway to the Bernese Oberland. An unusual feature of the old town is the flower-bedecked pedestrian walkways running along above the arcades containing the shops on ground level in the main street (Hauptgasse).
Castle (Historical Museum)
From the Thun Rathausplatz, with the handsome Rathaus (Town Hall: 1589, rebuilt 1685), a covered flight of steps leads up to the castle, whose massive keep with its corner turrets is a prominent landmark of the town. It was built in 1191 by Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen; later it became the seat of the Counts of Kyburg, and in 1492 was enlarged by the addition of an official residence for the chief magistrate of Berne. Since 1888 it has housed the Historical Museum, with arms and armor and 14th and 15th C. tapestries in the large Knights' Hall, prehistoric and Roman materials, furniture and ceramics in the three lower rooms and a collection illustrating 19th C. Swiss military history in the upper hall. From the castle and from the Protestant parish church (rebuilt 1738, with an older tower) on the southeast slopes of the castle hill there is a superb view of Lake Thun and the Alps (the Stockhorn chain, the Niesen and, to the left, the snow-covered Blümlisalp).
Address: Schlossberg 1, CH-3600 Thun, Switzerland
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Oct 31: 10am-5pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 1pm-4pm
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 1pm-4pm
Entrance fee in CHF: Adult CHF6.00, Students CHF4.00, Child 6-16 CHF2.00
Thun Castle Concerts
This two-week series of concerts runs from mid-June to early July and includes a dozen concerts in various venues including the castle, the Stadtkirche and the Bellevue Jugendstillsaal.
Municipal Art Gallery and Museum
In the Thunerhof is the Municipal Art Gallery (closed Nov.), containing painting and sculpture of the 19th and 20th C., particularly by Swiss artists, among them F. Hodler and C. Amiet. The paintings include Swiss and foreign work, both old and modern.
Address: Hofstettenstrasse 14, CH-3600 Thun, Switzerland
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Wed: 10am-9pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Good Friday - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Swiss Steam Engine Museum
On the site of the former Schadau market garden (ca. 17,000 sq. m/183,000 sq. ft) a museum has been established, illustrating the history of the steam engine. Exhibit No. 1 is the paddle-wheel steamer "Blümlisalp" which used to ply on Lake Thun. Other exhibits include the steamship "Lötschberg" (from Lake Brienz) as well as steam trains of the Schynige-Platte, the Brünig and the Brienz-Rothorn railroads.
The Aare basin is lined by the Johannes Brahms Quai, where there is a bronze monument to the Late-Romantic musician who spent several summers in Thun and who dedicated a violin sonata to the lake.A series of little wooded islands extend opposite the shoreline with a romantic path; to walk along this is called "Inseli-Kehr machen" (doing the round of the islands).
The panorama painted by Marquard Wocher between 1809-1814 is the oldest in the world. The panorama produces a view of the civil life of Thun with the Bernese Alps behind.
Swiss Gastronomy Museum
The Swiss Gastronomy Museum in Thun contains 5,000 books on gastronomy.
Surrounding sights of Thun include: Scherzligen, Schadau Castle, HIlterfingen, Goldiwil, Amsoldingen and Kiesen.
1.5km/1mi south of Thun the village of Scherzlingen on the lake has a little 12th C. church (frescoes).
Schadau Castle (Gastronomic Museum)
Where the basin of the Aare broadens out into the lake and an unexpected wonderful panorama meets the eye, Schloss Shadau towers up on the shore. The castle, a smaller replica of the château of Azay-le-Rideau on the Loire, was built in 1852 for the de Rougemont family of Neuchâtel. Since 1988 it has housed the Swiss Museum of Gastronomy (open: end of Mar.-mid Oct.), with exhibits of crockery, cutlery and kitchen utensils and mock-ups of interiors of some of the large hotels of the Bernese Oberland; temporary exhibitions are an additional feature. In the library the visitor can find rare cook books from Japan, Russia, China and South America, the oldest of which dates from the time of the Thirty Years' War.In the park of Schadau is the Wocher Panorama, a larger circular painting (38 7.5 m/125 25ft) by Marquard Wocher (1760-1830) of the town of Thun as it was about 1810.
Lake Thun Shipyard
In Dürrenast can be seen the shipyard of the Lake Thun Shipping Company.
The town of Hunegg is noted for the Hunegg Castle, situated on Lake Thun.
Hilterfingen (Schloss Hünegg, Art Nouveau Museum)
Some 5km/3mi northeast of Thun is the health resort of Goldiwil (1,010 m/3,314ft; pop. 1,000).
About 6km/4mi southwest of Goldiwil is the village of Amsoldingen (644 m/2,113ft) on the shores of a small lake. It has a castle and a fine Romanesque church (St Mauritius) of the 10th or 11th C. which shows Lombardian influence.
Kiesen - Dairy Museum
8km/5mi northwest of Amsoldingen on the Berne road is Kiesen, where a visit to the dairy museum is highly recommended. Here can be seen apparatus used in cheese-making, and a village cheese dairy has been reconstructed (sound-film and slide show).
Map of Thun Attractions