Kyburg (castle)

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Coordinates: 47°27′31″N 8°44′37″E / 47.4585°N 8.7435°E / 47.4585; 8.7435

Castle kyburg.jpg
Schloss Kyburg
Kyburg (castle) is located in Switzerland
Kyburg (castle)
Location within Switzerland
General information
Classification Swiss heritage site of national significance
Town or city 8314 Kyburg
Country Switzerland
Coordinates 47°27′31″N 8°44′37″E / 47.4585°N 8.7435°E / 47.4585; 8.7435
Construction started c. 1030
Completed c. 1530

Kyburg Castle (German: Schloss Kyburg) is a castle in Switzerland, overlooking the Töss river some 3 km south-east of Winterthur, in Kyburg municipality, canton of Zürich. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.[1]


The first fortification at this site was likely built in the second half of the 10th century by the counts of Winterthur. It is first mentioned in 1027 under the name of Chuigeburg ("cows-fort"), which name points to an original use as a refuge castle for livestock. The modern spelling Kyburg first occurs in the 1230s (other spellings of the 11th to 13th century include Chiuburch, Cogiburk, Kuiburc, Chuͦweburg, Chyburc, Qwiburg, Kiburc, Chiburg, Kibor, Kyburc, Kiburg)[2]

The early castle was destroyed in 1028 or 1030 by emperor Conrad II. A county of Kyburg was formed in 1053 as a possession of the counts of Dillingen, and from 1080, the counts of Kyburg emerged as a cadet line of the Dillingen family. They rose to be the most important noble family in the Swiss plateau beside the Habsburg and the House of Savoy by the 13th century. After the death of the last count in 1264 Rudolph of Habsburg claimed the inheritance for his family. With one interruption the Imperial Regalia of the Holy Roman Empire were kept in the castle between 1273 and 1322.

The core of the extant castle originates in the 13th century, with the addition of substantial parts in the course of the 13th and 14th centuries. It is among the largest surviving medieval castle comlexes in Switzerland, consisting of a bergfried and palas with additional residental and economic buildings and a chapel, all connected by a ring wall enclosing a large courtyard.

In the 1424 the city of Zürich bought the county, and the castle became the seat of the reeve. The dilapidated castle was substantially renovated at this time. The chapel has substantial late Gothic frescoes commissioned by Zürich. Substantial changes to the structure were made under reeve Hans Rudolf Lavater during 1527/8. Further changes were made to the structure in the early modern period.[3]

The castle was plundered by the local populace in 1798, but it was again used as administrative seat from 1803 until 1831, when it was sold by auctio to one Franz Heinrich Hirzel of Winterthur who intended to use it as a quarry. To prevent its destruction, the castle was bought by the exiled Polish count Alexander Sobansky (1799–1861) in 1835. The Sobansky resided in the castle for the next 30 years. In 1917 the Canton of Zurich bought the castle back, since 1999 a society runs it, the Verein Museum Schloss Kyburg.


Every summer the Kyburgiade, an international chamber music festival, takes place in the inner courtyard of the castle.[4]


Carton model of the castle 
Kyburg 1740 
Panoramic view 
General view 
Coat of Arms 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kantonsliste A-Objekte". KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  2. ^ 1027 Chuigeburch, ZUB XIII; 230a; 9. 1028 Eodem Anno Castrum Chiuburch tribus mensibus a Conrado Jmp. obsessum capitur, Liber Heremi. Annales Einsidlenses, 126. 1096 [Graf Adelbert I. von] Cogiburk, Orig ZUB XII; 241c; 16. 1112 Adelbertus comes de Choͧiburk, Z.Ub.I. 143, 258. 1137 [Hartmann II. von] Kuiburc, ZUB XII; 281b; 20. 1152 Hartmanno comite de Chuͦweburg, Orig ZUB XII; 300b; 23. 1155 Dedalricus de Choͧburg, Orig ZUB I; 310; 191. 1173 Arthmannus de Chyburc, Orig ZUB XII; 327a; 26. 1180 et comitem Hartmannum de Qwiburg, Orig ZUB I; 336; 212. 1213 [Graf Ulrich von] Kiburc, Orig ZUB XII; 376a; 39. 1216 V̊lricus comes de Chiburg, Orig Chart Sang III; 1035; 103. 1218 filio comitis Uldrici de Kibor, ZUB XII; 386a; 40. 1223 Warnherus et Hartimagnus comites de Kiburg, Orig ZUB XII; 417a; 46. 1230 de Kiburg, Orig ZUB I; 454; 334. 1233 Hartmanni comitis de Kyburc, Orig ZUB I; 484; 358. 1238 H[artmannus] comes de Kyburg, Orig ZUB II; 511; 13.
  3. ^ Ueli Müller: Kyburg in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 2008.
  4. ^ "Kyburgiade" (in German). Schwandenstrasse 27, 8802 Kilchberg: Internationales Musikfestival auf Schloss Kyburg. Retrieved 15 Jan 2014. 

External links[edit]