Castle Viamala

Ehrenfels Castle

Burg Ehrenfels
Burg Ehrenfels

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Sils i.D. mit der Burg Ehrenfels im Winter

Once a ruin - now a youth hostel for groups. With a breathtaking view of the Domleschg.


The history of Ehrenfels resembles a badly faded fresco, with only a few lines still clearly recognisable. The castle was originally the centre of a manorial estate. It is assumed that it was the seat of the Lords of Sils.

The first documentary evidence of a von Ehrenfels family comes from a purchase contract dated 1257 between Baron Albrecht von Sax and Pfäfers Abbey in Reichenau, in which Conradus de Herinfels appears as a witness. A document from 1320 refers to "Burchardus et Rudolfus de Herenfels accaeteri (and the others) de Schauenstein". From this, as is often claimed in the literature, it may indeed be concluded that the Ehrenfels and Schauenstein families were of the same stock, but it is certain that the Schauenstein family were already in possession of the castle at this time and often only wrote "von Ehrenfels".

Already a ruin in the 18th century
In the 15th century, the castle is said to have belonged to the Cazis monastery, but in the 16th century it was still inhabited by two von Schauenstein brothers, one of whom, Rudolf von Schauenstein-Ehrenfels, was bailiff of Fürstenau and temporarily governor of the Valtellina. In 1742, the chronicler Sererhard reports: "The rudera of the ancient Ehrenfels Castle can be seen a short distance above Sils"; according to this, Ehrenfels must have already been a ruin in the 18th century.

In 1933, the Swiss Castle Association acquired what had survived of the former Ehrenfels over the centuries and began to rebuild the castle with the help of enthusiastic young people. Despite some discouraging experiences, which meant that work progressed slowly at times, the "Youth Castle" was happily completed. It has served as a youth hostel since 1954.

Ehrenfels is now used as a youth hostel for groups. The facility is located directly on the Domleschg Castle Trail.

Opening hours

Run as a youth hostel from May to October and is available for groups of 20 people or more. The outdoor area is always accessible.

Further information on group accommodation can be found here.


Responsible for this content: Viamala Tourism.

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