Like perhaps every parent, I´ve divided my life into the pre-kids times and with-kids times. In the pre-kids times, my husband and I enjoyed visiting the Czech castles. When our children were born, however, we were forced to reduce this activity, or better to say, completely give it up. Do you think the castle guide would enjoy the tour with a screaming baby / angry toddler / annoying preschooler? I am happy that we are gradually returning to our former hobby, except that we don´t explore Czech castles anymore, but the Swiss ones. We´ve already been to Chillon, Grandson, and last Sunday we went to Lenzburg Castle. We were happy to discover, that children are more than welcome here.
Lenzburg Castle was built in the Middle Ages on a hill above the town of the same name. The entire castle complex is vast – apart from the representative and residential buildings that surround the castle courtyard, you can walk through the beautiful Baroque garden and you can enjoy the views from the castle walls.
Lenzburg Castle is located in the Canton of Aargau, just an hour’s drive from Bern and a half hour from Zurich. If you would like to get here by public transport, bus line Nr.391 will bring you up to the castle from the railway station.
Approximately 250m below the castle there is a parking lot; you pay 1 franc per hour. The way from the parking lot up to the castle is convenient with a stroller, but you have to park it behind the castle gate in the “stroller parking lot”. But the distance from the parking lot isn´t anything that two-year-olds couldn´t make (verified :)).
On your way to the castle, you will pass the “Burg Waldegg”, which are wooden cottages in the forest, serving children as a playground in nature. But I recommend going here after visiting the castle when children can play the knights with the crowns, swords, and shields they can make at the castle. But I´ll get to it.
In ancient times, an evil dragon lived on a hill in a deep cave, destroying the fields and houses of the local peasants. One day, two knights, brothers Bertram and Gurtram, came along. The peasants pleaded with the knights to liberate them from the beast. Early one morning, the knights mounted their horses and rode up to the dragon cave. The dragon couldn´t see them but could smell them as they were approaching. It lunged at the younger of the brothers, Bertram, and ate him up. The elder Gurtram succeeded in killing the dragon, but before the beast died, it spat Bertram out unscathed. The Counts of Lenzburg then allowed them to build a castle on top of the dragon’s rock.*
A newer legend says that the night before the knights came to the cave, the dragon (actually dragon mother) laid in the cave of an egg that was hidden for centuries and after some time the peaceful dragon Fauchi hatched out. At present, it welcomes both young and old visitors to the museum.
Wohnmuseum – The Residential Museum
At Lenzburg castle you can learn how he lived here from the late Middle Ages until the middle of the 20th century. Each of the three floors is dedicated to different periods (late Middle Ages, Renaissance / Baroque, 18/20th Century). The tour is not guided but on each floor, you will find a brochure (in German, English, and French) with a description of individual rooms, equipment and style of living of that time. Short video projections will bring you closer to the life and work of the former inhabitants of the castle.
For children, this section is also interesting – at least they learn that now always people had microwaves, coffee makers or plates with the designs of their favorite fairy-tale characters.
Rather than a word “museum”, I would use the word craft and play area that you find on the top floor. The museum is just a small part upstairs in the attic that was dedicated to seafaring and discovery of Antarctic at the time of our visit.
In the craft room stuffed with free materials (colored papers, cardboards, crayons, sequins, colored stones, scissors, glues …) children can make paper crowns, cardboard swords or shields.
With lots of costumes, little girls can turn into beautiful princesses and boys in mighty knights.
You can also find a baby play area here.
Knighthood and Nobility
When you walk the battlements into another part of the castle, you learn about the life, education, and power of the Knights in the early Middle Ages.
Our boys liked the shadow theatre and interactive screens.
If you want to take a rest for a while, you can enjoy coffee, desserts, salads or ice creams in the castle café (either indoors or on the terrace). Or you can have your own picnic in the courtyard.
We visited the Lenzburg Castle the day when the Fauchifest Children’s Event was held here. We’ve been to this kind of event for the first time so we didn´t know what to expect. We were, however, surprised with a number of activities for the children. On twelve posts, they could test their dexterity (walking on stilts, walking with egg on the spoon, juggling, jump rope, hula hoop …) or dancing and musical abilities (Zumba, drumming). Personally, however, I think the biggest favorite was the tent where they could have different colorful hairstyles on their heads created 🙂