Local History

Erlach. Photo/Foto: TES.

The City of Erlach

The first documents on Erlach date from the 11th century. Burkhard von Fenis (bishop of Basel 1072-1105) built the castle, his brother Kuno von Fenis (bishop of Lausanne 1093-1103) founded the abbey of St. Johannsen. Count Rudolf von Neuenburg-Nidau (Lake Biel at the time was still called Nidauersee) granted city rights to Erlach around 1266.

The castle is one of the oldest in the canton of Bern. After the Counts of Fenis, the Counts of Neuenburg lived there.

In the 13th century, the castle became the property of the dukes of Savoy, who used it as the administrative centre of the bailiff.

Erlach became the property of Bern in 1474 and the castle became the seat of the Bailiff of Bern. Today the castle, beautifully situated on the hill in the medieval centre, houses an educational institute and the Museum of Erlach (More information: www.museumerlach.ch).