Pilot site #5: Schenkenberg castle

Schenkenberg castle


Type of heritage: 
Cultural built heritage

Owners of the site: 
Aargauer Heimatschutz

Managers of the site 
Aargauer Heimatschutz

Coordinator for the ARGUS project: 

47.441945216937576, 8.100859509950148

Description of the pilot

View from the Schenkenber castle in Switzerland

Schenkenberg is the largest castle ruin in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. It is located on top of the Schenkenberg hill 631 m north of the Thalheim municipality. Schenkenberg hill is part of the Jura Mountains and stands about 200 m above the 5 km long Schenkenberg valley. The castle was built in the late 12th or early 13th century by the Habsburg dynasty, serving as a headquarters and as a protection for core areas around Brugg. It was the administrative seat for 260 years of a bailiwick of the city of Bern and fell into ruin in the 18th century. Since then, the structure was left abandoned experiencing important damage, such as the collapse of the east wall during a storm in 1917.

Main threats

Today, the castle is composed by various free-standing walls and semi-collapsed towers of important dimensions, having lost its integrity due to historic damage. Horizontal loads (e.g., wind, earthquakes), plant growth and freeze-thaw cycles pose threats for the structural integrity of the ruins. Other dangers pose unregulated human activity, with many visitors during the summer season, and fire due to the proximity with high vegetation. (Still to be defined).

Ruins of the Schenkenberg castle, one of the ARGUS pilot sites

Technical interventions in ARGUS

The ruins of Schenkenberg
  • To examine and assess the complex set of threats for the structural integrity of the monument,
  • to apply and test the deterioration prediction methods of ARGUS and provide a risk assessment and preventive preservation plan.