top of page
  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Flowers and a castle

Thun is a city located where the Aare flows out of Lake Thun (Thunersee), 19 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of Bern.

I like the reflection of the castle in the windows. These flowers are begonias and geraniums.

Besides tourism, machine and precision instrument engineering, the largest garrisonin the country, the food industry, armaments and publishing are of economic importance to Thun.

"The area of what is now Thun was inhabited since the Neolithic age (mid-3rd millennium BC). During the early Bronze Age there were a number of settlements along the lake shore and the Aare. A site at Renzenbühl had a local chief or nobleman's grave which contained one of the richest collections of early Bronze Age artifacts in Europe. Another site at Wiler contained approximately 1,500 maritime snail shells which were harvested from the Mediterranean and traded over the Alps.

The name of the town derives from the Celtic term Dunum, meaning "fortified town". It fell to Rome in 58 BC, when Roman legions conquered almost all of Switzerland, and it soon became one of the main centers of Roman administration in the region.

The Romans were driven out of Thun, and out of the rest of Switzerland, by the Burgundians around 400 AD. The Aare became the frontier between the Christian Burgundians and the Pagan, German-speaking Alemanni, who lived north. The region was mentioned for the first time during the 7th century, in the chronicle of Frankish monk Fredgar. The town is first mentioned in 1133 as Tuno.

The region of Thun became a part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1033, when Conrad II gained the title of King of Burgundy. The emperors entrusted the Zähringen family, centered in Bern, with subduing the unruly nobles of central Switzerland. Around 1190 Duke Bertold V of Zähringen, built Thun castle and expanded the town. After Bertold's death in 1218, his territories went to Ulrich III von Kyburg.

In 1264 Thun received town rights and in 1384 the town was bought by the canton of Bern. Thun was the capital of theCanton of Oberland of the Helvetic Republic, which lasted from 1798 until 1803.

In 1819, a Military School was founded in the town, which later developed into the main military school in Switzerland. Thun was connected to the railway network of Switzerland in 1859 and telephone access made available in 1888."

The city’s most famous landmark is the mighty Thun Castle, with its tower that was built between 1180 and 1190, which towers majestically over the Old Town. A historical museum is housed in the tower rooms, showcasing finds from the past 800 years relating to the region and its history, as well as a special exhibition which changes each year. Pride of place goes to the restored 12th-century knights’ hall, however. The view from the castle tower of the mountains and the lake is also unparalleled.

Old city walls

View looking toward the lake

To get to the castle and church you need to climb and climb and climb....

They had a landing before climbing another set of steps. This was what you saw when you looked up.

The Fulehung

Which way is the train station?

Even the castle has beautiful hanging flowers.

Stadkirche Thun is close to the castle.

The massive octagonal front tower of the Stadtkirche Thun dates back to around 1330. The main entrance and the arched porch are both located on the ground floor of the tower base. The tower hall with its three pointed arched openings is decorated with paintings from around 1430. The nave is relatively new and was added in 1738. The late baroque sermon hall, decorated with stucco work, the communion table and pulpit (both in Renaissance style), as well as a plaque of stucco marble and a bronze sculpture are all inside the church and are well worth seeing.

More candles lit and prayers recited

The historical raised promenades in Thun's old town are yet another highlight. They are not the only reason to enjoy a stroll through the cobblestone streets. As well as traditional rows of houses, Thun is

home to various small shops on different levels that invite visitors to browse and explore.

The flowers in front of these shops were mostly begonias and fuchsia.

I feel the flowers on the flower bridges in Thun are as pretty as the flower bridge in Luzern.

Gorgeous flowers along the river.

This is not the place to walk if you are allergic to bee stings. Nice to see so many bees.

The water is the Aare is very very cold, clean, clear, and home to many fish.

Signs just in case you can't name the water fowl.

This is a bronze statue of the Fulehung. One year, Michael and I were at the Fulehung event. The Fulehung runs all around Thun starting very early in the morning. It is good luck to be hit with the balloons, which at one time were animal bladders. If you spot the Fulehung, you keep chanting: Fulehung, Fulehung, Fulehung.... in hopes he will throw candy your way. Michael and I caught many pieces including some foil wrapped chocolate pieces. I had a wonderful time!!!

In the battle of Murten in 1476, the Thun fighters captured the jester of Charles the Bold (Karl der Kühne). This jester, now known as Fulehung, is the most famous figure of the "Ausschiesset" in modern times. Equipped with a mask, "Söiblattere" and wood mallet, he chases the crowd through the alleys of Thun and distributes sweets to the children.

"The Fulehung is a fool figure who appears at the annual Thun folk festival, the Ausschiesset. Legend has it that the Fulehung was the jester of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and Luxembourg. In 1476, at the battle of Murten, the Thun fighters are said to have succeeded in capturing the jester. In Thun, it is said, they then drove him through the alleys until he collapsed. Unfortunately, there are no confirmed reports from this time.

In the 18th century the jester reappeared in the chronicles. He was the pointer of the rifle association and wore a jester costume on special occasions. In the shooting range he kept peace and order with a bunk, a truncheon. With jokes and jokes he entertained the society in the evening at the marksmen's banquet.

In 1776, the jester was then abolished and his dress auctioned off. Since he always wore only a cap but never a mask in the pictures from this time, it is not known whether the mask was also there at that time.

In 1840 there is another hint; the "Seckelmeister" had a jester dress repaired. At the shooting set in 1855 the fool was surely present, equipped with a clamp cap and piston. However, he was not called Fulehung, but "Bajäggel" (Bajass). Shortly afterwards he was again abolished by the school authorities and in 1864 he was reintroduced by the shooters - now with the devil mask. Where this originally came from is unknown. The original mask belongs to the Cadet Commission and is now kept in Thun Castle.

Around the year 1900 the fool then received the today's name "Fulehung". Originally a mockery (lazy dog), the former name "Bajass" was replaced by it in the course of time.

In 1901 the cadet commission decided that the Fulehung was only allowed to appear at the processions and then had to disappear again. It is said to have not appeared for several years because of the brutalization of the youth. But the tradition still prevailed and since then the Fulehung has not been missing any committee set.

Since about 1960 his work in Thun has been limited to the city center. At the imposition set processions and at the Gessler shooting of the cadets, he exercises his old functions as a steward and platform master again. Besides he chases the crowd with "Söiblattere" and "Schyt" through the alleys and distributes sweets to the children.

His name does not reflect his activities at all, because Hung is not at all lazy; he completes an immense amount of running during the imposition set and must know his way around the alleys of Thun's city center.

You can even go surfing right in the heart of the city. I took pictures and videos from three different sides.

I love watching them surf!! Remember this water is extremely cold! It's glacier water that has come down from the mountains and flowed into the Aare.

The water is only waist deep in some places.

31 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page