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Castelgrande in Bellinzona, Switzerland

Castelgrande in Bellinzona, Switzerland


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A great View

The Views over the city is amazing. You can explore about the complete caste and the entry fee is really worth the price for preserving this UNESCO site.

Old castle in the middle of the city, top accessible via lift near Migros. Walk on the old town wall and enjoy the views from the top.

The entrance to the Castel is unique and the elevator ride leaves you expecting a great experience. The view from the top is good and the Museum building is very well designed, the film was interesting but frankly there were not many exhibits, which was very disappointing. Also, it is a steep climb from the elevator to the top and there is no provision at all for handicapped people.

Take a train to Bellinzona (it is about 20minutes ride from Lugano). Exit the station and with your back facing the station, turn left and walk straight for about 4minutes or so. Take note of the small roads on your right hand side, that is where you would sight Castelgrande. Just walk towards that direction and you would see a skating zone. While facing the skating zone, Migros will be on your right while the lift (at the back) will be on your left hand side. You can then take the lift up to Castelgrande. You can take a stroll by spending about 40 minutes here. There is a cafe at Castelgrande and if you wish to just chill and enjoy the view, please do so. Oh yea, and the entrance is free! There is a museum where you have to pay 5CHF (i think? cause I did not visit the museum) Enjoy!


Impressive.

There are three castles in Bellinzona and they are Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro. As a part of the city's fortifications, they
are called the finest examples of medieval architecture in Alpine Region.
They were built and further developed by the Dukes of Milan in 15th century. The castles, the Murata (defensive wall), and ramparts, are listed on the UNESCO Heritage List.
A must-see in Bellinzona.

The castle complexes in Bellinzona are a real Swiss treasure. This one stretches for what seems like miles (or kilometers). Great pride has been taken in safeguarding the past, and keeping it beautiful in the present. Breathtaking panoramas of the whole area.

The castles are very cool to check out, especially the Castelgrande. There is a lot of green space to walk around, take in the sights and to see the beautiful views of Bellinzona. Plus it's free! Unless you decide to go into the museum then you have to pay. It's a great place for a picnic or just hanging out on the grass. I highly recommend it, especially on a sunny day!

Bellinzona is probably Switzerland's most Italianate town. The skyline of the capital of Ticino is defined by the powerful fortifications, comprising three of the best-preserved medieval castles in Switzerland, which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The events and vicissitudes which unfolded against the backdrop of the fortifications of Bellinzona underline its military importance at precise moments of history. Bellinzona's castles are considered amongst the finest examples of medieval fortification architecture in Switzerland. And trust me, you will be lost in the beauty of the castle, in it's timeless history and get mesmerized by something that has stood the test of time and has its walls speaking history, every time you knock to them.
You can explore the impressive fortifications on foot from the defensive walls to the top of the towers. Now here is a piece of caution, if you are something like me (lazy and rarely exercise), you can still explore them by foot but remember that the next morning will be very painful for the thighs and the feet, especially. But nevertheless, explore by foot only, its not to be missed. Check the weather for sure, if its raining, cover yourself and your kids properly, the breeze is very cold and there are chances of catching cold if it rains. A day is sufficient to explore the castles (and I mean all the 3) if you are not the hiking, trekking types. But in case you want to hike, book in a youth hostel, I stayed in one of them, they are good in terms of facilities, cleanliness and equipment and cost effective (which is more important) too. But I strongly recommend only a day trip, anything more than that will be repetitive and tiring.

SBB offers cheap tickets online and start in the morning, preferably. It costed me 50 CHF return along with the half fare card, so you see its really cheap. I started from Zurich at 5:51 AM and reached Bellinzona at 8:51 AM which gave me practically one full day to explore the castles and enjoy the natural beauty. You can plan your return anytime after 6 in the evening. There is fees for viewing the castles which is 5 CHF per person, per castle. If you are a couple take the 20 CHF (or may be 25 CHF, don't remember exactly) couple pass which gives you entry to all the castles and the in house museums inside the castles as well as a documentary on these medieval fortifications. The documentary is aired in English, German and Italian. And its highly recommended.

Each castle has something to offer to the tourist, especially the panoramic view from Castlegrande, its really grand and serene, check out for yourself. There are restaurants in the castle and you can have a great time dining there, unfortunately for us they were closed due to Easter holidays, so plan accordingly.

There are local help desks inside the castles and the ladies are a gem to talk to. They solve all your problems and make you feel at home. They give you the best deals available at that time and also maps so that you are not lost. And above all there are restrooms at proper places and that really saves you (imagine if you have a kid along)

I have rated them 5 stars for the hospitality offered, the deals, the serenity of the castles and the documentary which took me back in history and of course the neat and tidy restrooms (I hate to struggle with nature's call and thats the first thing I check whenever I travel).

Overall a good time spent with family, friends and even alone in the arms of nature


Simone bossi photographs brutalist intervention of medieval 'castelgrande'

photographer simone bossi captures the atmosphere &mdash both ancient and contemporary &mdash of the restored &lsquocastelgrande&rsquo of bellinzona, switzerland. with most of its original elements dating back to the 13th century, the medieval stone castle saw an artful revitalization through the 1980s by swiss architect aurelio galfetti. the 20th century transformation allows a clear reading of the history of europe through the history of the fortress, while introducing a functional use of the buildings and the park for visitors and residents of the village of bellinzone.


all images © simone bossi photographer

the rough stone fortress walls of the medieval castelgrande are interrupted with clean, brutalist geometries &mdash a dichotomy captured by italian photographer simone bossi. with the series of images, the photographer reveals the beauty of the site which results from its expressive layering of different ages, with elements spanning many centuries across antiquity. this language of &lsquolayered history&rsquo is at last continued by 20th century architect aurelio galfetti, who echoes the site&rsquos ancient expression of heavy stonework while celebrating his own contemporary style.

architect aurelio galfetti comments on his castelgrande restoration: &lsquothe commission was only about the buildings on the top of the rock. I believed it was more important to give the restoration an urban dimension. in the end, the project develops some secondary spaces to support the city producing a park, a public park in the city of bellinzona only made of rock, stone walls, four trees and a lake in the sky. a park is a place to go and stay, and so this proposal involves a route through a public space, a void that connects people with the great landscape down to lake maggiore, on the alps.&rsquo


Castelgrande in Bellinzona

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Castelgrande - Bellinzona Well Preserved Medieval Keep Castle in Switzerland

Castelgrande is one of the the three castles in Bellinzona, Switzerland.

The site of the Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the late 1st Century BC and until the 13th Century it was the only fortification in Bellinzona. The walls that separate the three baileys all radiate from the 14th Century Terre Nera, which is located in the center of the castle.

To the east is a complex of buildings which were part of the old keep in the castle. In the center of the keep is the tallest tower of the Castelgrande, the Torre Bianca or White Tower, which dates from the 13th Century.

Small scale map showing the location of
Castelgrande - Bellinzona

Google map showing the location of
Castelgrande - Bellinzona

Large scale map showing
Castelgrande - Bellinzona


Castelgrande, Bellinzona

The site of the Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the late 1st century BC and until the 13th century it was the only fortification in Bellinzona. During its history the castle has been known as the stronghold (before the 13th century), the Old Castle in the 14–15th centuries, Un Castle after 1506 and Saint Michael's Castle from 1818.

The Castelgrande hill includes a nearly vertical side on the north and a steep southern side, but is nearly flat and 150-200m in diameter. The natural shape of the hill has encouraged every man-made fortification to follow the same contours. While the Roman fort is not visible the Roman foundations were used by the High Middle Ages castle which followed. Of the High Middle Ages castle the only visible parts are a few pieces of wall that are still standing. Much of the visible castle dates from 1250–1500 with extensive renovations and some expansion in the last two centuries. Most of the area inside the castle walls is now flat, open space.

Records from the 11th to 15th centuries as well as archeological evidence indicate that the castle grounds were once full of buildings. However most of these were pulled down by the Dukes of Milan to free up interior space. The open space was divided into 3 large baileys which served to provide temporary housing for troops that could be stationed in Bellinzona. Under the Dukes of Milan the outer fortifications were extended and strengthened. The walls were raised, extended and towers were added. The western walls were totally rebuilt and connected to the city walls.

The castle can be reached by taking an elevator from the foot of the rock to the castle grounds or by climbing steep, narrow streets from the city center through the city wall onto the castle grounds.


Museum of Castelgrande

The museum is spread across two floors in the southern wing of Castelgrande, the ducal fortress restored by architect Aurelio Galfetti from 1980 to 1991.

The archaeological section offers a brief presentation of the 6,500 years of human presence on the hill, from the first Neolithic village to the twentieth century, ending with an entertaining film. Don’t miss the collection of fifteenth century coins, bearing witness to the mint used by the three primitive cantons.

Meanwhile, the art history section includes a series of tempera paintings on paper (ca. 1470) which originally decorated the wooden ceiling of a lavish fourteenth century residence in the city centre that was demolished in 1970.

The bright “Sala Arsenale” also regularly hosts fascinating temporary exhibits.

Open all year:

Partner Ticino Ticket

Thanks to Ticino Ticket you can visit this attraction at a discounted price. Ask the ticket at your hotel, campsite or hostel and find out all the offers you can receive.


A very Present Middle Age

In Bellinzona, everything is close at hand, from the World Heritage castles to the city centre. From history to now, in a trice from the time-worn walls to the street market. A city rich in memories and traditions that attracts visitors from everywhere.

All roads lead to the castles. At the last bend, a mysterious force drives you forward to cross the drawbridge. Step by step, the present fades away and the past comes to life. You don&rsquot know what awaits you, but the door is open and it invites you to find out. On crossing the threshold, you are catapulted into another age peopled by ladies and knights where even the air you breathe is mediaeval and fantasies can become reality.

What other surprises can Bellinzona offer? The answer is right there under your eyes. From the three castles, you can see the traditional street market that enlivens the city. In its crowded streets, with their family atmosphere, you will be captivated by the range of colours, aromas and flavours.


Castelgrande in Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland - stock photo

Your Easy-access (EZA) account allows those in your organisation to download content for the following uses:

  • Tests
  • Samples
  • Composites
  • Layouts
  • Rough cuts
  • Preliminary edits

It overrides the standard online composite licence for still images and video on the Getty Images website. The EZA account is not a licence. In order to finalise your project with the material you downloaded from your EZA account, you need to secure a licence. Without a licence, no further use can be made, such as:

  • focus group presentations
  • external presentations
  • final materials distributed inside your organisation
  • any materials distributed outside your organisation
  • any materials distributed to the public (such as advertising, marketing)

Because collections are continually updated, Getty Images cannot guarantee that any particular item will be available until time of licensing. Please carefully review any restrictions accompanying the Licensed Material on the Getty Images website and contact your Getty Images representative if you have a question about them. Your EZA account will remain in place for a year. Your Getty Images representative will discuss a renewal with you.

By clicking the Download button, you accept the responsibility for using unreleased content (including obtaining any clearances required for your use) and agree to abide by any restrictions.


Watch the video: The secret Escapes of TICINO Switzerland in 4K (June 2022).


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