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Every Castle tells a story

"Schadau is a man-made pearl set in the diadem of the Alpine landscape and created

by nature in her happiest hours."

Abraham Roth, 1873

Historical overview

Schadau castle and its surroundings have a history that dates back to the year 1348, with the first mention of a house on the site in public records. In 1638, the house was converted into a country estate and manor. In 1838, work was begun on a park in the English landscape style. The castle as we know it today was constructed by Denis de Rougemont in 1852.

 

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During its construction, the grounds for the castle's base were raised by one metre, and the old manor house and barns were demolished. In 1860, the park was opened to the public on Sundays. The English gardens on the castle grounds were completed in 1871. In 1925, the Schadau Consortium sold the 3.6-hectare castle park to the city of Thun for CHF 380'000. In 1931, the city planted new trees on the grounds, made some modifications to the building and paved the lake road.

 

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During the war, the castle was used as a military museum and first-aid station, and vegetable fields were planted in the well-kept park. Restoration work on the park was begun in 1949 and numerous changes were made by the cemetery gardener.

In 1961, the Wocher Panorama was opened west of the castle with a new access route along the park. In 1974, Schadau Castle, without the park, was placed under heritage protection. Restoration work on the castle was completed in 1996.

Schadau Castle is an important national monument that was renovated for more than CHF 20 million between 1954-1996.
As history shows, Schadau Castle and its park have undergone many changes over time. However, the park, the spacious lawns and the views of the Alps remain the same.
(Text: Dürrenast Leist, www.duerrenast-leist.ch)

 

A love that could not be

Baron von Rougemont, owner of Schadau Castle in Thun, died suddenly early Tuesday morning. Rougemont had been incurably ill for some time. Lately, he had also suffered from paranoia. Baron von Rougemont was the only son and still unmarried. He leaves behind his mother and two sisters. (Daily paper of the city of Thun from 11.05.1908)

Today, we know that Louis Rougemont had fallen in love with a servant of the house, who had come into service as an orphan at age 15. The love affair did not reflect the Baron's social position and was forbidden by his mother. In his desperation, Louis took his young life within the castle walls. He was 23 years old.
(Text: AEK Bank 1826)

 More about Schadau Castle:

  • The architect was Charles Pierre Dusillion (1816 - 1860) from Paris, the foreman was the Bernese Friedrich Ludwig von Rütte(1829 - 1903) and the creator of the sandstone figures and stairway was the Dutchman Josef Hubert Verbunt (1809 - 1876)
  • The castle is built in Romantic Historicism style, modelled after Loire Castles with elements of English Tudor Gothic and Renaissance forms
  • The castle was constructed as a single-family residence over a five-year period by 200 permanent masons, stone masons, sculptors and many other specialist crafstmen. The castle has a total of 78 rooms. Approximately half of the rooms were heated using 19 fireplaces and 12 stoves
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