The Castle. Oh, the Castle.

by Gigi Griffis

Thun, Switzerland

On my third day in Thun, I finally went to town (because, as you may already know, those first two days I was far too busy climbing mountains). And, dear god, is it a pretty town. All terra-cotta rooftops, swan-filled waterways, cobbles, and castles. Oh, and an enormous, blue lake dotted with sailboats of all shapes and sizes.

But I digress.

Today I want to talk about the castle.

Normally, I’m not one for museums. And, while I love castles from the outside, I find that they are usually outfitted with lots of gold-inlaid stuff that, while pretty, doesn’t really hold my interest. Not so in Thun, folks. This castle is fascinating on the inside as well as the outside (particularly if you have a very handsome tour guide who can add relevant details while you wander the castle halls).

Instead of enormous dining tables and elaborate canopy beds, this castle is full of memories. Snippets of life and love and impatience in the form of dozens and dozens of old black and white photographs from Thun and its surrounding area. There are women in traditional dress and men holding tools at a construction site. There are children playing and families dining. And one or two smiles hidden under bushy beards.

And then there are portions of old doors. Doors that were used to keep prisoners in small tower rooms for various offenses. On these doors, the prisoners passed their time inscribing details of their lives and tic marks for each day of their imprisonment.

Prisoner graffiti
Prisoner graffiti.

In fact, you can go to the castle and pretend to be a prisoner yourself.

chainedGigi in chains

(“See, that’s how you handle women,” said the man in the next room while my photo was being taken.)

In another room, dozens of coats of arms were painted, including one particularly creepy one featuring skeletons.

Coats of arms, Thun castle

But even if you don’t love old photographs and prison door graffiti and skeletal coats of arms, the castle is worth a visit if only for the views:

Castle view, Thun

Thun from above

Well, that and the handsome Swiss men.

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Roommate #1 September 5, 2012 - 2:18 pm

I feel like a similar comment could be made about how to handle men.

gigigriffis September 5, 2012 - 5:38 pm


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