Château d'Aigle © José Crespo

History of Aigle Château

Aigle Château, former residence of the Compey-Thorens nobles and the Bernese Governors has been a landmark since the 12th Century and in different eras has served as a fortress, a home for the governor, a tribunal and even a prison.

It was over 800 years ago, at the beginning of the 13th Century, that two fortified towers were built facing the summit of the Blonaire pass. One tower belonged to the Knights of Aigle, the other to the Counts of Savoy. Château Aigle would rise on the foundations of the first tower with « Dîme House » erected on the second.

In 1483, Aigle would become the first French speaking territory to be integrated into the Swiss Confederation. The Republic of Berne installed its governor in Aigle Château. Profound changes saw the Château develop its fortress status and residential amenities. In the 1490s the great square tower was built.

In 1804 Aigle Commune bought Aigle Château for the princely sum of CHF 5'670.--. During the next almost two centuries, Aigle Château served multiple needs : used as a tribunal, a prison as well as providing accommodation for the local poor. To this day you can still see graffiti from prisoners and visitors in any number of the Château rooms.

From 1900 Aigle Château’s heritage value would continue to rise. Classed as a historic monument it would be the subject of numerous restoration projects transforming it into the cultural hub we know today. Since 1975 Aigle Château has been home to the Vine and Wine Museum and is also a reception, banqueting and conference venue with four specially designated meeting halls.

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