Though it’s just 30 miles from the far more modest village of Brienz, the town of Thun, on the far western edge of Lake Thun, had a far wealthier history than its neighbor. The reasons are complicated—the Catholic church controlled land around Lake Brienz, while Protestants owned their own plots around Lake Thun—but a testament to Thun’s past wealth is still easily seen today: the magnificent Thun Castle that looms over town. The Dukes of Zähringen, one of whom founded the Swiss capital of Bern in 1218, built the castle toward the end of the 1100s; today you can wander around its five floors to learn about the history of the region. Be sure to visit the Knights Hall, an airy chamber with suits of armor and a cavernous fireplace—and to pause at the corner towers for excellent views of over the town, mountains and lake.
For more information about the history and culture of Jungfrau and Interlaken, visit myswitzerland.com.
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