High Rhine Museum Castle Schönau
The castle is surrounded by an idyllic park facility along the banks of the Rhine and was constructed around 1600 in place of a moated castle by the lords of Schönau. A concert shell for open-air performances and concerts is located on the west side of the castle. This is also where the open-air cinema takes place. This is also where the open-air cinema takes place.
As early as 1979 Castle Schönau, which is colloquially also referred to as the trumpeter’s castle, hosted an exhibition with the title ‘The Trumpet’ - most likely the first of its kind. The driving force behind the exhibit was the passionate instrument collector Ernst W. Buser from Switzerland. Together with the American trumpeter and musicologist Dr Edward H. Tarr, he presented around 50 instruments and documents dating from the Baroque period up until the present day from his private collection. When the city of Bad Säckingen bought the collection, this enabled the founding of the Trumpet Museum in 1985, which continues to be considered unique to this day.
Supported by modern technology, visitors are presented with various visual and audio impressions, which not only indicate the skills of the old instrument makers, but also the great talent of past trumpeter generations.
The oldest piece of the collection is a natural trumpet from 1664, which, together with other exhibits from the 17th and 18th centuries, represents the past tradition of trumpet-making in Central Europe. An additional focus is on the probably most important development in trumpet history, the chromaticism of the instrument. The 19th century is of particular significance here with its numerous technical developments. Countless artistic works and documents from the context of the trumpet complement the exhibition, which enjoys great international attention thanks to its significant specialised exhibits.
Life in the Hotzen forest was marked by great poverty over a long period of time. The rough climate, the lime-deficient soil and the small farms rendered such little yield that the people often had to starve and many emigrated. In the 19th century, the textile industry led to a boom. Especially women and children found an additional income, frequently in the shape of working at home. However, with World War I the sales markets fell apart, the ensuing inflation and new fashion which hardly demanded the once highly sought-after silk ribbons all led to the demise of the textile industry. In 1937 the Hotzen forest was declared to be a distressed area. First structural reforms in the 1950s led to fundamental improvements.
The Hotzen Room presents the most important living area of the Hotzen house, as could still be found all over the Hotzen forest in the 1930s. The centre and prized possession was the art or ‘Chouscht’ as it was called in the Hotzen forest, which was heated from the kitchen stove. For the inhabitants of the Hotzen forest this was the epitome of all warmth and comfort.
The epic poem ‘The Trumpeter of Säckingen. The epic poem ‘The Trumpeter of Säckingen. This romantic love story with a happy end became a bestseller. Verses from the epic poem were set to music, an opera was created, and the subject matter was even cinematised in 1918. The book made Säckingen famous worldwide and turned it into a literary place from the late 19th century onwards. As a young lawyer, Scheffel lived here at the High Rhine from December 1849 to September 1851. When he left the city, not only had he encountered material for the ‘Trumpeter of Säckingen’, but he had already started writing the first pages of his work. In it, Scheffel recounts the story of the beautiful young aristocrat Maria Ursula von Schönau and the bourgeois ‘artist’ Franz Werner Kirchhofer, whose love overcame all class boundaries. Joseph Victor von Scheffel’s stay in Säckingen marked the beginning of a remarkably successful career during his lifetime which made him one of the most well-known authors of his age.
Pre- and Early History
The section for pre- and early history was opened in 1968 already and includes impressive finds from the German High Rhine region. The early eras of the region can be experienced across two storeys. The upper level of Castle Schönau offers insights into the animal kingdom of the Ice Age along the High Rhine as well as into the early, middle and later Stone Age. What is more, one can delve into the Bronze Age with its urn graves, the early Iron Age (Hallstatt Period) and into the times of the Celts, the La-Tène-Period. The level below is mainly dedicated to the Romans who greatly impacted the history of the High Rhine up into the 4th century. An extensive collection of coins from Austria, Switzerland and Germany completes the early history collection of Castle Schönau.
Opening hours & admission
April to October:
Thursday to Sunday: 2pm - 5pm
Saturday: 9am - 1pm
November to March:
Thursday, Sunday: 2pm – 5pm
Tours by appointment
Adults 3.00 €/ discount 2.00 €