It’s ready at last! The first section of the new permanent exhibition at Kyburg Castle is now open. In the Count’s Hall and the Great Tower, the attention is all upon the main object of the museum: the castle structure itself. Here, visitors of all ages can find out from the walls and the floors about the changes that have happened to the castle – from being a castle for Counts to becoming the castle home of High Sheriffs, to its life as a Castle Museum. The layers added on top of each other over the centuries have been laid bare in many places, and interactive stations invite you to act like a researcher into castles or try out the different building methods.
An ox made of oak, harnessed to a cart, now greets visitors in front of the Castle Garden. Timber and casks are lying around, while a tethered horse and donkey are waiting. If you look closer, this scene from the past turns out to be a playground. Parents will realize this when they sink their feet into the box of soft shingle box – but their children will already be climbing all over the animals.
When we’re open, we won’t just open the main door and the doorways to the curtain wall - you will also be tempted to enter or leave the castle via the little garden door by the playground and through the Garden of the High Bailiff's Wife.
In the castle itself, the visitor infrastructure on the ground floor of the outbuildings has been rearranged and expanded. There is a museum workshop, where school classes can do some work, a cloakroom with boxes for rucksacks, and a bright, approachable payment desk beyond the open barn door. In a former stable is a shop, selling special souvenirs, toys, games and books. At very the back of the building, you’ll find the bright, spacious guest room. This offers coffee and tea made from herbs grown in the castle garden, as well as cold drinks from the fridge, “Kyburgbiber”, and savoury snacks (self service), which you can enjoy inside or outside.
Our new name for the museum’s supervisors is “Cicerone”; they are here, day after day, to answer our visitors’ questions: Where is the Iron Maiden? How are the Habsburgers and the Kyburgers related to each other? Where is the nearest toilet, please?
Once the CASTLE section is open, we will move on to the next phase. In the Knights’ Hall, the former rulers will take centre stage. What did they want from Kyburg? What did they do here? How has the exercise of power changed over the past 800 years?