Buildings

Béatrice-von-Wattenwyl-House, Berne

The Béatrice-von-Wattenwyl-Haus (originally named Frischinghaus) is a town house located at Junkerngasse 59 in the historic district of Bern. Planned by Joseph Abeille, it was built in the years 1705 to 1706, as a southern extension of Samuel Frisching’s (II.) town residence.

 

In agreement with a donation effected in 1929, the house became the property of the Swiss Confederation after the death of Jakob Emanuel von Wattenwyl in 1934. Ever since, the house has borne the name of the wife of the deceased.

 

Today, the house is used for receptions: here, the Bundesrat and the governing parties SVP, SP, FDP and CVP meet for the so-called “Von–Wattenwyl-Talks” on a regular basis.

 

The main façade is facing South: its flight of stairs, the balcony, the gable displaying the patrician Frisching family’s coat of arms and the ridge turret are all visible from the Münster platform. The terraced gardens that lie beneath it give it a monumental air.

New castle Oberdiessbach

The New Oberdiessbach Castle is a castle located in Oberdiessbach, Canton of Bern. It was built south of the Old Castle, dating from the year 1546 and has been in the possession of the von Wattenwyl family since 1647. The New Castle was built for Albrecht von Wattenwyl (1617‒1671), a colonel in French service to King Ludwig XIV., as a country residence in the style of the late French Renaissance from 1666 to 1668. It is still part of the von Wattenwyl family property today. The main tract of the building exhibits a high hipped roof, long smokestacks and loggias.

Rudolf von Tavel, in his Bernese-language novel Der Frondeur, describes the view of the castle with its “proud paladin windows, the beautiful latticework and the chimneys, which seem to grow like little towers from the mighty roof”. Alleys with a total length of one kilometre lead up to the Régence-style wrought-iron portal of the baroque garden which is situated in front of the main façade. The interior furnishings of the castle date back to the time of its construction and tapestries were added in the late 18th century.

The Oberdiessbach Castle was the first country residence in the Canton of Bern built entirely in the French style and is regarded as the most important exponent of all Bernese secular constructions built in the mid-17th century.  

Schloss Burgistein

The castle was built after 1260 by the founder of the Burgistein family, Jordan I von Thun.

 

In 1339, it was destroyed by the Bernese, after the Battle of Laupen.

According to the Bernese chronicler Konrad Justinger, Jordan III. von Burgistein was shot inside the castle by a marksman named Ryffli.

In 1397, the Burgistein family line failed and the rebuilt castle came into the possession of Werner Münzer. In 1493, the von Wattenwyls became the owners of the castle for the next 221 years.

After the marriage of Juliana von Wattenwyl to Emanuel von Graffenried in 1714/15, the castle went over to the von Graffenried family. The buildings on site today date back to the 16th century.

Château Montmirail

The history of Montmirail Castle commenced under French rule in 1618. In the 17th century, Henri II. D’Orléans-Longueville was governor of Neuchâtel. One of his officers, Abraham Tribolet, was Bailiff of Thielle. In 1618, he built a country hall and a farm with a barn on a small elevation. By way of various succeeding owners Montmirail came into the hands of the von Wattenwyl family in 1722. The estate was named Montmirail. From 1739 onwards, religious refugees – in particular Huguenots and Waldensians – were sheltered by the young Friederich von Wattenwyl (Herrnhuter Fraternity).

​The clergy of Neuchâtel were unwilling to accept free congregations on their territory and the refugees were forced to abandon Montmirail at the Church of Neuchâtel’s behest in 1748.


In 1766, Montmirail became a boarding school for girls and boys. For the next 222 years, French, housekeeping, subjects of general educational value (appropriate conduct!) and religion were part of the curriculum. Female pupils came from all over Europe. In 1988, the Institut de Montmirail closed its doors indefinitely. The Don Camillo community acquired a building lease for the major part of Montmirail, in order to erect a guesthouse and a centre for the community.

Château du Pin (F)

In 1253, the Count of Burgundy and Master of Arlay, Jean I. de Chalon (1190‒1267), built this castle with its six towers, a rampart, a two-story mansion with glazing bar windows and a stately keep, 22-metre in height, with a pitch oriel and an angular look-out, on the ruins of an ancient castrum.

 

Situated three kilometres northeast of Lons-le-Saunier, on the grounds of the monastery Saint-Pierre de Baume-les-Messieurs, amidst pastures and vineyards dominating the valleys of the Seille, the Doubs and the Saône, it served to control the salt route. 

 

In 1425, the castle was sold to the Master of Courlaoux, Guillaume de Vaudrey, who gave it its current exterior appearance.

 

In 1674, King Louis XIV. of France ordered the castle’s destruction but only a part of the curtain wall was demolished.

 

From the 18th century onwards, several proprietors succeeded one another and the castle, after having been used for other purposes, was turned into a farm. In 1920, baron Carlos de Watteville bought the property which was partly in ruins and undertook major refurbishment works.

Elfenau Bern

Die Elfenau ist eine Campagne am Ufer der Aare (Elfenauweg 91) in Bern. Seit 1285 befand sich auf dem Gebiet der heutigen Elfenau das Frauenkloster zu Brunnadern. Um 1780 wurde das alte Riegelhaus abgebrochen und durch den Neubau der heutigen Herrschaftsbauten ersetzt. Den an die Fabelwesen der Elfen erinnernden Namen erhielt es 1816 von der emigrierten russischenGrossfürstin Anna Feodorowna (1781–1860), die das zuvor Brunnaderngut genannte Grundstück mitsamt dem 1735 erbauten Landhaus 1814 käuflich erworben hatte. Sie liess das Gut mit Hilfe von Rudolf Abraham von Schiferli im Empirestil umbauen und einen englischen Park anlegen, empfing dort ihre Verwandten, die bessere Berner Gesellschaft, die russische Kolonie und zahlreiche ausländische Diplomaten

Zu diesem Zweck wurde die bekannte Orangerie gebaut, die heute als Ausstellungs- und Konzertlokal dient.


1861 verkaufte Anna's Sohn Eduard die Elfenau an Bernhard Friedrich von Wattenwyl (1829-1831, Distelzwang) 


1918 ging sie an die Stadt Bern über, und 1928/29 wurde dort die Stadtgärtnerei eingerichtet.

Schlosswil   I  Schloss Wyl

von Prof. Dr. Jürg Schweizer

1146 

Erstmalige Erwähnung der Freiherren von Wiler an einem von Herzog Konrad von Zähringen in Worb abgehaltenen Gerichtstag

1. Hälfte 13. Jh.

Die Burg Wyl erhält als weithin sichtbaren Akzent den 43 m hohen Hauptturm aus teilweise riesigen Findlingen mit einer enormen, gegen 4m messenden Mauerstärke. 

1527 Niklaus von Wattenwyl kauft Burg und Herrschaft Wyl. Vorher war er Propst des Chorherrenstifts am Münster, er wechselt zum neuen Glauben und ist nun mit Clara May verheiratet. 1546 brennt die Burg aus, auch der Turm wird beschädigt. ​Beim Wiederaufbau verwandelt Niklaus von Wattenwyl die Burg zum wohnlichen Schloss. Dabei lässt er auch den Arkadenhof mit seinen Gewölben erbauen. Der Turm erhält sein steiles Dach. 

1634

 Petermann von Diesbach erwirbt Schloss und Herrschaft