Taking a look behind the walls of the Ital Reding estate is definitely worth it. It is the only manor house open to the public and provides a compact demonstration of the architecture and way of life of this era.
This house is regarded as the oldest timber house in Europe. It is a relic of the founding days of the Old Swiss Confederacy and was erected in 1287. This is four years before the time when the three founding cantons joined in an alliance and laid the foundations for modern Switzerland. The two-storey Bethlehem House features very different room layouts, which is a sign that it is a former manor house. The brickwork basement is home to a hall built in the 16th century and adorned with murals. With the exception of the window openings with their pulley shutters and boarded loggias from the 18th century, its original condition is largely preserved.
Inside the enclosing walls of the Ital Reding estate lies the manor house, the Bethlehem House and the farm building (what is today the Cantonal Library). Ital Reding’s manor house was built in 1609. In front of the building lies a Baroque garden flanked by two summer houses. The lavish design of the manor house is fully revealed by its interiors. The large garden hall is located on the ground floor, under which is the beautiful vaulted cellar. As is traditional, the actual staterooms are found on the first floor, with sumptuous wooden panelling and ceilings. These rooms document the social rise of a family that achieved wealth, power and status as mercenary entrepreneurs.
Book an hour-long guided tour of both manor houses. An expert guide will provide lots of interesting information about the history, architecture, culture and way of life in the 17th-century manor house and medieval timber house. Group visits (with or without a guided tour) are available all year by prior appointment.
|Groups of up to 20 people: CHF 150.00|
|Hall hire for drinks reception incl. guided tour for up to 20 people: CHF 200.00|
|School groups (flat rate): CHF 80.00|
|Foundation members: 50% discount|
Alternatively, you can also enjoy an interactive tour of the Ital Reding estate using one of the 30 iPads without prior appointment. Audio-visual stories tell you everything about these historic buildings, letting you choose what you wish to see and for how long. The iPads are provided free of charge and feature headphones. The interactive tour is available in German, English and French. The iPad is included in the entry fee and just requires visitors to provide a form of official ID as deposit.
The Ital Reding estate and Bethlehem House are closed to individual visitors from 1 November 2017 to 30 April 2018.