Stage on the Swiss Way of St James from Gunten to Thun
The stage from Gunten to Gwattegg was so eventful that I divided it into three sections.
Right after Gunten, the Aeschlenstutz (steep ascent) challenges us. In return, you have a wonderful view very quickly. Here the view back to Gunten.
The Niesen appears with a band of clouds.
High above the lake we walk on narrow paths - the historic Oberländer Weg.
Sometimes slightly uphill, then downhill again, ...
.... sometimes through vineyards. The Niesen is always present.
After about 1 hour we are in the castle park of Oberhofen. The Jakobsweg (Way of St. James) goes around the outside of the castle. But it would be a pity not to walk through the beautiful castle park. After all, this is the Riviera of Lake Thun.
The Oberhofen Castle
The mighty keep of the former fortified castle of Oberhofen dates from the early 13th century. The castle passed to the Habsburgs in the 14th century. After the battle of Sempach, Bernese troops occupied Oberhofen. After changes in ownership, the castle was acquired by the Neuchâtel-Prussian Counts of Pourtalès in 1801. Around the middle of the 19th century, the castle underwent romantic remodelling. Today it houses a museum.
The striking little tower in the lake.
General view of Oberhofen Castle - unfortunately against the sun.
Here a better photo with the Alps in the background
From Oberhofen the route goes uphill to Hilterfingen. The now reformed church in Hilterfingen is one of the 12 thousand year old churches on Lake Thun. It was originally consecrated to the apostle Andreas.
The Way of St James is well signposted.
Shortly after the village of Hilterfingen we come to a castle park which leads to Hünegg Castle. It was built in the 19th century by Baron Albert Emil Otto von Parpart, a former Prussian officer. In connection with discovered Alemanni or Hünen graves it was given the name Hünegg. Baron von Parpart chose forms of the Renaissance castles on the Loire for his new building. The castles of Blois, Chenonceau and Azay-Le Rideau served as models. The creator was the only 26-year-old Berlin architect Heino Schmieden.
Von Parpart's heirs largely redesigned the interior in 1900 in Art Nouveau style.
In this state, the palace is now a museum of home décor from the Historicism and Art Nouveau periods.
The manor house is situated in an enchanting park with old trees.
After a short, unpleasant stretch on the Lake Thun road, we hike along the lake shore to Thun. Here at the crossing of the lake into the Aare, the steamship Blümlisalp welcomes us.
On the other bank of the Aare we see the Romanesque church Scherzlingen. That is where we want to go, but the path first leads to the bridge near the town of Thun.