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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

From Spiez then Across Lake Thun to Sigriswil

Panorama Bridge in Sigriswil


The former Church of St. Laurentius, next to the castle, was first mentioned in 761–62, when the patronage rights over the church were given to Ettenheim Monastery in Breisgau. The church was one of the twelve Lake Thun churches in the Strättliger Chronicle. The current early Romanesque building was built during the 7th or 8th century, while the crypt dates from about 1000. Outside the church, a number of graves from the 7th and 8th centuries have also been discovered. It was the parish church for a parish that included Spiez, Spiezwiler, Einigen, Faulensee and Hondrich. When Bern adopted the new faith of the Protestant Reformation in 1528, the church became the center of the new Reformed parish.

According to Elogius Kiburger, the author of the Strättliger Chronicle, in 933 the King of Burgundy, Rudolph II, built the castle. Shortly thereafter, the Freiherr von Strättligen settled in the castle. Portions of the current castle curtain walls and main tower were built during the 12th century and by the 13th century, the town of Spiez existed outside the castle walls. By 1280, the castle was listed as an Imperial fief under Vogt Richard de Corbières. In 1289, the Freiherr von Strättligen was co-owner of the castle along with a succession of other noble families.

From the 15th to the 18th century, the castle was gradually renovated to its present appearance. The gallery was expanded, and another story was added to the residence hall. The Trüel was added to the northwest side of the keep in the 16th century. Then, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Baroque "New Castle" was built on the south side of the gatehouse.

The grapes grown in the vineyards are brought to the castle to be crushed.

In the barrel cellar from the 13th century is where Adrian von Bubenberg had already stored his wine. The Spiezer wine is now pressed and cultivated by the Spiezer cooperative.

"On a short walk you will experience the beautiful cultural heritage "Spiezer vineyards". On the discovery trail you will discover the diversity of the vines during the year.

Enjoy your walk through the Spiezer vineyards. On the discovery trail you will discover on 12 panels lots of knowledge about the wine-growers year, the nature and about what else the vines give to people apart from wine. Every panel is dedicated to a month in the calendar year and explains in German and English about the necessary activities in the vineyards. For every month there is a short film which can be downloaded via the QR code on the smartphone.

Six stations of experiences also correspond to the trail through the Spiezer vineyard. At these stations, you are encouraged to test your senses. Which aromas are wafting through your nose? What noises can you hear? In a fun way you can experience the grapevine in all your senses.

The "Spiez vineyard sensory adventure trail" starts by the lower Rebhüsli, about 200 meters from the shop of the viticulture association."

Beautiful chestnut tree

There were hundreds of bees around these plants.

Crossing Lake Thun


Gunten lies along the lake while Sigriswil is halfway up the hill. The panorama suspension bridge is to the left in the picture.


Crossing the 340 meters (1115 feet) long suspension bridge between Sigriswil and Aeschlen offers a magnificent view of the famous Bernese Oberland peaks, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, as well as Lake Thun. Look from the bridge into the abyss, and 182 meters (597 feet) below you’ll see the bottom of Gummischlucht Gorge. The view down the gorge will take your breath away.

"The Panoramic Bridge between Sigriswil and Aeschlen is one of a total of three suspension bridges on the Lake Thun Panoramic Circular Trail. The popular 56 km ( 34 miles) long circular hike connects various mountain and shoreline paths around the lake. Sigriswil panoramic bridge crosses the 182 m deep Gummischlucht Gorge. Pluck up your courage and cross this impressive gap from Sigriswil or Aeschlen on a safe and spectacular path. Both mountain villages are in stunning locations on the eastern shore of Lake Thun, set within a picturesque natural setting and far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking panoramic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and the surrounding mountain peaks. Combine your walk over the panoramic bridge with a circular hike through Gummischlucht gorge or an eventful hike to Oberhofen, Hünibach or Thun. Pick up snacks in Sigriswil in a lovely farm shop offering fresh regional produce, located just next to the suspension bridge.

"Such a suspension bridge as this one is expensive to build and maintain. As such, the local community has decided to charge a small entrance fee to cross the Sigriswil suspension bridge."

We continued our walk......

Some time later, we turned around and went back over the bridge. The snow capped mountains created quite a spectacular sight!

The tip of the Eiger, the Mönch, the Jungfraujoch with the Sphinx, and the Jungfrau

Please send your guess for the contest to me no later than Thursday, September 28th at 8:00 AM (Phoenix, Arizona time).

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