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Swiss Prepper

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Hello everybody. My name is Joey Isenring, I am 34 years old. I am thinking of becoming a prepper.
At the moment I am living in Switzerland.

A few years ago, one of my close relatives passed away and I've inherited a beautiful castle ruin built in 1240. It was constructed at a strategic point, high up on a hill. The walls are one meter thick, the keep is 20 meters tall and the gates are made out of cast iron.
The castle ruin comes along with an acre of forest and 2 acres of land (unfortunately quite steep). Maybe this doesn't sound like much in the US, but here in Switzerland it's quite a lot. In 1902 only the keep was rebuilt.

I didn't know what to do with it because it hasn't got any windows or isolation. Until I recently watched a prepper programme on National Geographic. I'm planning to restore the inside; isolate, install windows, furnish and of course stock up on goods.

Is the castle appropriate for a prepper? It was built for defense and protection, so I think it should be ok. Below you can have a look at it.
Yburg II.jpg



Cheers
Yburg.jpg


Joey
 

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Prepper specialist

Word of advise.

First things first scout the area. Walk through out the property look for self retaining food sources and water sources. Make sure you don't have a lot of human trespassers that know the location of the castle. Make sure all perimeter walls are free of weak points and holes.

Then make sure all doors can not be forced open and the roof is in good condition.

Assess what repairs what need to be made and base your decision on how much time and money it will take to make everything right vs selling and building a bunker close to home.
 

tntboy13

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I mean I'm no expert, but holy crap!!! You have a castle! I'm thinkin that it'll be a good home for you to use to prep. As long as you feel comfortable sustaining yourself there and feel comfortable with the land in order to defend it, I'd say you're pretty lucky!
 

DannyboyDS

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it was built to defend against a siege, using siege weapons and techniques of the time. It would also require a team of sentries to patrol the walls otherwise whats to stop a three or four person team scaling the walls, sneaking around and slitting your throats? to me it looks a hell of lot more like a giant ornate tomb for you and your family, the moment people learn of a healthy group of people living behind closed gates they will want in, when you don't let them in, they will come in anyway.

That being said, and in all honesty, Nice place. It really is quite beautiful.
 

Danil54grl

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I love it, but because I love history and exploring old buildings. . . Built in 1240 is just WOW! to me. But as Dannyboy pointed out 'it was built to defend against a siege, using siege weapons and techniques of the time'.
 

Swiss Prepper

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Thanks everyone for so quick answers!
Walk through out the property look for self retaining food sources and water sources. Make sure you don't have a lot of human trespassers that know the location of the castle. Make sure all perimeter walls are free of weak points and holes.
This morning I went to the castle and inspected the walls. During the winter it's closed, so I could have had a good look without being disturbed. They are in a good condition without any holes or weak points. There is a nearby water spring, which I could use. Unfortunately the castle is open to the public, and almost everyone in the region knows about it. It's even in the village's logo :( Below to can have a look at the inside:
Iburg inside.PNG
Iburg inside II.PNG

Note the original walls from 1240 and the beams from 1902
Iburg inside IV.PNG

Iburg inside III.PNG

Iburg inside V.PNG

This photo was taken in summer. Maybe I could mount rifles or ballistas.

Then make sure all doors can not be forced open and the roof is in good condition.
I must work on that. The front door is very old, I think from 1850 or so. It must be replaced. I would also like to install bullet proof windows. The roof was repaired in 2012, so that's not a problem :)

Assess what repairs what need to be made and base your decision on how much time and money it will take to make everything right vs selling and building a bunker close to home.
I also thought about selling it, but it's just a shame. It has been in the family since 1780. And a castle like that is not seen on the market very often. Building a bunker is a good idea. Maybe I could build one in the courtyard, if the government allows it.
Next week I will go to get some information about it.

My sketch with some ideas:

Yburg.PNG

What else would you suggest?


Cheers
Joey
 

realisticdude

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I would fix up the castle and rent it out for vacations / weddings etc......................................... Take the profits and buy some land , build ......................... somebody has been coming around the castle by the looks of the graffiti (teenagers), vandals could be a problem.
 

jimLE

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great looking place you got there..id keep it..realisticdude has a great idea there..fix it up and rent out the rooms..kinda like bed and breakfast type rooms..have certain rooms for weddings.and if a group needs some place to meet at.rent them a room that can double as a meeting room..have a kitchen where folks can have luncheons there.
 

Brent S

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Beautiful! I like history and antiques, and would love the chance to restore and live in something like that. I don't think I would change too much for prepping, but with three feet thick walls and on high ground you're allready way more defendable than any modern home.
 

Danil54grl

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Thanks everyone for so quick answers!
This morning I went to the castle and inspected the walls. During the winter it's closed, so I could have had a good look without being disturbed. They are in a good condition without any holes or weak points. There is a nearby water spring, which I could use. Unfortunately the castle is open to the public, and almost everyone in the region knows about it. It's even in the village's logo :( Below to can have a look at the inside:
View attachment 2181 View attachment 2182
Note the original walls from 1240 and the beams from 1902
View attachment 2185
View attachment 2183
View attachment 2184
This photo was taken in summer. Maybe I could mount rifles or ballistas.


I must work on that. The front door is very old, I think from 1850 or so. It must be replaced. I would also like to install bullet proof windows. The roof was repaired in 2012, so that's not a problem :)


I also thought about selling it, but it's just a shame. It has been in the family since 1780. And a castle like that is not seen on the market very often. Building a bunker is a good idea. Maybe I could build one in the courtyard, if the government allows it.
Next week I will go to get some information about it.

My sketch with some ideas:

View attachment 2186
What else would you suggest?


Cheers
Joey
Think you have some good idea and thank you for posting the pics. . . its an honor to see since I know I wont be able to leave my place in the next few years and over seas is definitely out
 

Swiss Prepper

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Hi guys,
thank you very much for so many exciting ideas. I think the keep is a bit too small for vacations/weddings, it only has five floors, 20 feet x 20 feet. But maybe a small museum... The replies are so different, that's why I would like to run a poll. I had to create another thread for that. I would be very grateful, if many preppers could answer it :) Thanks

Cheers
Joey
 

Brent S

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Think you have some good idea and thank you for posting the pics. . . its an honor to see since I know I wont be able to leave my place in the next few years and over seas is definitely out
i really love having and learning about animals and gardening, but it does make traveling alot harder.
 

Gazrok

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it was built to defend against a siege, using siege weapons and techniques of the time. It would also require a team of sentries to patrol the walls otherwise whats to stop a three or four person team scaling the walls, sneaking around and slitting your throats?
Well, come SHTF, those old techniques are again back in play, as are the defenses. Just store some razor wire to deploy after an event.

For the door, consider getting a metal one with either wood on either side (or the type made to look like wood). That way, all the security of a metal door, without looking out of place with the keep.

For the windows, good security film is likely a cheaper option (and still secure) for preserving the same windows.

As for roof defenses, while ballistae are pretty cool, having some nice gun emplacements, like a .50 cal or two is probably a bit more practical.

A lot depends on what else surrounds the 2 acres, and if you can secure the spring (or install a well). Or even just hide the spring and run an underground pipe to the keep....
 

getnready

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Beautiful! What ever you do document / video your restorations! Who knows you could end up with your own show!

You are way ahead than most. What is it like getting to your castle? Do you drive right up to the gate or do you have to hike in or get there by horseback?
 

Danil54grl

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i really love having and learning about animals and gardening, but it does make traveling alot harder.
Since I have had my critters, we have only left once and that was for three days basically (son #3 graduation from college). We got up early Fri to feed/milk and get to the airport for departure. Flew to Iowa which we got in late, we didn't get to bed until after 11 PM due to weather delays. Got up Sat morning for graduation and hanging out with son. Next day got up early to fly back to home area and drive back home in time for evening feeding. While we were gone, we had a friend that fed and milked and all he wanted to take home was the milk and eggs he collected. I was good with that deal, but he did end up driving to the barn and out to each of the pastures and since it was rainy, it tore up the yard. It does have to be a very good reason to leave and only if we could get someone to take care of the place.
 

Brent S

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Since I have had my critters, we have only left once and that was for three days basically (son #3 graduation from college). We got up early Fri to feed/milk and get to the airport for departure. Flew to Iowa which we got in late, we didn't get to bed until after 11 PM due to weather delays. Got up Sat morning for graduation and hanging out with son. Next day got up early to fly back to home area and drive back home in time for evening feeding. While we were gone, we had a friend that fed and milked and all he wanted to take home was the milk and eggs he collected. I was good with that deal, but he did end up driving to the barn and out to each of the pastures and since it was rainy, it tore up the yard. It does have to be a very good reason to leave and only if we could get someone to take care of the place.
My son and his wife live here in a cabin on the back of the property. I could have them help if desperate, but they are immature and sleep in till noon, so I know everyone would half starve! He's 26 now and I'm beginning to wonder if he will ever grow up. Oh well, at least he works hard and seems to be dedicated to his job as an electrician, just not much else. Kids, what are you gonna do!
 

Swiss Prepper

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For the windows, good security film is likely a cheaper option (and still secure) for preserving the same windows.
That's a very good idea, and so cheap.

You are way ahead than most. What is it like getting to your castle? Do you drive right up to the gate or do you have to hike in or get there by horseback?
I can drive up, but not all the way. The last 70 meters I have to hike.
 

Gazrok

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So, if it were me, and I wanted to do it up prepper style.....

Fencing around the perimeter of the property (stone base and pillars with black iron bars, to preserve the look of the keep).

Divert and hide the spring into an underground PVC pipe system to feed the keep. Have solar powered pumps with manual backup. (access in each of the first 3 floors)

Solar panels on any flat portions of roof (that aren't seen from the ground, so as not to destroy the keep look, and also stay fairly hidden). Provides power to any electrical in the place.

Purpose the floors: (though in keeping with the medieval look of the place as far as decor, look & feel)

Bottom Floor - Bathroom, Power, Utility area, Infirmary area
Second Floor - Storage area (more food, guns & ammo, water, spare parts, etc.)
Third Floor - Kitchen/Food storage area
Fourth Floor - Living/Dining area (entertainment)
Top Floor - Sleeping area

Previously mentioned ideas for windows (but add metal shutters), and doors.

Previously mentioned razor wire storage (deployed only when SHTF, second floor or in an outside shed)

If you don't have one, add a covered outdoor storage shed attached to the keep wall (for more storage that isn't as weather susceptible. (for transport storage also)

Add a chicken coop and bunny hutches for replenish able food sources. (inside the fencing)

Make a small garden near the keep (but inside the fencing)

Have some small pot-grown food items on any flat roof areas.

Formerly mentioned gun emplacements. (guns not actually mounted until a SHTF event).

Motion detectors (driveway alerts, radio version) covering perimeter.

Blacksmithing Shed (attached to keep wall).

Way to block road access come SHTF.

HAM radio (can run antenna fairly stealthily up the keep wall).

In the living area, build up a library, including books covering how to build/repair anything you are using, survival skills, homesteading skills, etc.

Most important advice: Don't do it alone, get family/friends on board to hole up with you if the time comes.
 

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