On the Metzghofstatt – a small, idyllic square – stands Schwyz Town Hall as well as the Archivturm tower, also known as the Schatzturm or ‘Treasure Tower’.
The Archivturm tower stands on the Metzghofstatt, a square rich in history. A cantonal slaughterhouse used to be located by the tower up until 1642, which is probably where the name ‘Metzghofstatt’ (literally ‘Estate of the Butchers’) derives from. Up until 1890, the square was also home to the village washhouse.
The stone-built Archivturm tower from 1200 used to be a residential and administrative tower and from the 15th century or earlier onwards, served as an archive for storing the ‘imperial freedom letters’. It is also said that the tower used to be used as a prison. Despite the limited space and the demands for a new archive building, the tower continued to serve as an archive into the 20th century. In 1936, the lack of space was initially resolved with the opening of what was then the ‘Archive of the Swiss Charters of Confederation’ and is now the ‘Museum of the Swiss Charters of Confederation’. However, by the 1960s, space was once more running out as the administration grew larger. This problem was temporarily solved in 2002 with the opening of the new State Archive.
Today, the Archivturm tower serves as a medieval calligraphy workshop for the Museum of the Swiss Charters of Confederation. In the specially set-up scriptorium, school students can use a goose quill and ink to write their own certificate on parchment and seal it with a copy of the oldest existing seal of the Schwyz territorial estate.
Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
The museum is closed on Mondays.
The Archivturm tower is not freely accessible. However, we can organise a workshop by the Museum of the Swiss Charters of Confederation workshop for your school group.