Angenstein Castle (Switzerland)
Canton of Basel-Landschaft See list of castles in Svizzera
Angenstein sits enthroned in a castle chain on a broad head of rock between Aesch and Duggingen, where the Birs squeezes through the Jura chain for the last time. Angenstein was always regarded as an "outpost" of Basel and for the control of the Jura region of strategic importance. In addition, the Birs formed a long time the border between the Sisgau and the Sundgau, ie between French and Austrian dominions.
Who was the first Lord of Angenstein is unknown. According to the historical tradition, however, it is certain that Angenstein belonged to the household goods of the Counts of Pfirt as early as the 13th century. Half of it was apparently ceded in 1271 to the Bishop of Basel. So Angenstein came into the rule of the Counts of Thierstein, who handed over the fief to the Münchs of Landskron. When the last Münch had no heirs, the fief returned to Thierstein. After a long dispute between Basel and Solothurn over the possession of the strategically important outpost, the bishop finally emerged victorious. In 1557 he gave the fief to his chancellor, the advocate Wendelin Zipper, who is still the most famous lord of the castle today. This built the destroyed by fires (1494 and 1517) castle after 1557 again to a knightly-romantic domicile. He cleverly added the timber-framed buildings to the four-storey Donjon (residential tower), which still characterize the image of Angenstein today. With new residential and commercial buildings in 1562, the chapel was built according to early Christian pattern. Their most important jewelery is made up of three splendid stained-glass windows donated by the bishop and the canons, which glorify the religious holidays "Good Friday", "Christmas" and "Pentecost".
Martial conflicts (during the Thirty Years' War, the Swedes in Birstal drove their affliction and occupied Angenstein), fires and the impoverishment of the changing owners resulted in the increasing neglect. At the beginning of the 19th century numerous changes took place.
In 1951, the city of Basel acquired the castle Angenstein, which is located on Dugginger municipality. In 1984 the castle burned for the last time. From 1988 to 1991 it was totally renovated and habitable. Also the chapel and some social rooms could be restored.