The castle complex on the hill on Rapperswil Peninsula is one of the most important historic monuments on Lake Zurich. It was probably built by the nobles of Rapperswil towards the end of the 12th century and was repeatedly altered on several occasions thereafter. The counts were succeeded by Austrian stewards appointed by the Holy Roman Empire. Between 1442 and 1798 the position of castellan was occupied by respected Rapperswil citizens. In 1798 the French plundered part of the interior furnishings. The castle served as a cantonal prison until 1820 and as a tenement house until 1869. Between 1870 and 1927 the castle housed the Polish National Museum, which was created by Polish emigrants under the guidance of Count Ladislaus Plater. A second museum was opened in the castle in 1936/37, called the 'Museum of Contemporary Poland' on this occasion, whose lease was terminated in 1948. It was rented by the Swiss Castle Society between 1952 and 1962 (Castle Research Institute and Castle Museum). After its interior was remodelled (a castle tavern was built) it once again housed the Polish Museum. Rapperswil Castle is the property of the municipality of Rapperswil-Jona. It underwent a complete restoration between 1988 and 1989. Since 1869 the Polish Column of Freedom has stood next to the castle as a sign of Switzerland's solidarity with people fighting for their freedom.
The restaurant at the castle offers outstanding gourmet cuisine and together with the small Hall of Knights and the covered castle courtyard it is set aside for weddings, birthdays or other celebrations.
The oldest vineyard on Lake Zurich situated on the Schlossberg was mentioned for the first time in 981. Blue Burgundy ('Clevner') is cultivated in the vineyards of the city of Rapperswil.
A well-tended Deer Park has existed on Lindenhof since 1871 with between 10 and 15 fallow deer as a reminder of the legend surrounding the city's foundation. The Deer Park is tended by the Rapperswil-Jona Tourism Association. The custodian, Theo Böhler, feeds the animals every day and looks after their health. They are well fed and have a lot of room in the compound, where plenty of grass grows in the summer. However, when the young male deer have grown up, they must leave the herd. Otherwise, there would be fights to establish supremacy with the dominant stag.
Hay bale campaign
The continued existence of the Deer Park is guaranteed thanks to annual contributions by sponsors. But since it is actually a community institution in which anybody can collaborate, we are happy to receive voluntary donations. We receive many spontaneous donations within the context of the collection campaign 'Hay bales for winter': Anyone is welcome to have themselves registered as one of the sponsors of our Deer Park by making a donation of 50 Swiss francs per hay bale. Many thanks for your collaboration and for your generous donation.
UBS AG, 8640 Rapperswil
Account no.: 250-717646.01T
Account name: Hirschpark
Reference: Heuballenaktion [Hay bale campaign]