In 1261, the Lords of Mont planned to build a city along the lake that would compete with the Aubonne and Saint-Prex. By around 1264, Rolle Castle was built to protect the pier at the lake. However, the planned city was never built by the Mont family. In 1291, the castle was in possession of Count Amadeus V of Savoy, who granted it to several different families as a fief. In the course of the rivalry between the Counts of Savoy and the Lords of Vaud, in 1319 Amadeus V of Savoy finally built a city around the castle, in 1330 the city was named Ruelloz. This new city closed a gap in the savoy settlements on the northern shores of Lake Geneva.
During the Bernese invasion, both Le Rosey Castle and Rolle Castle were attacked and burned.
Under Bernese rule (1536-1798) Rolle was part of the bailiwick of Morges. In 1558, the Bernese merchant Hans Steiger, who was already the lord of Mont-le-Grand, acquired the barony of Rolle. His family retained the property until the French Revolution. The barony included the town of Rolle (except the fief of Les Uttins which belonged until the 18th century to the La Harpe family), Tartegnin, Vinzel, Luins, half of Essertines-sur-Rolle, some homes in Begnins, the region of Vincy and Saint-Vincent (now in Gilly), Bursinel and in 1615 they acquired Le Rosey Castle, Dully and Le Vaud. The judicial court was composed of the lord, his deputy, a court clerk, and ten members from Rolle and villages in the district. One of ten members governed the city. In 1740 the town bought itself out from under some taxes and duties.
Following the French invasion of Switzerland in 1798, Rolle became the seat of a district of the same name. In 1799 the Helvetic Republic bought the castle from the municipality and used it until 1974 as the seat of government. In 1802, during the Bourla-papey uprising, patrician land titles and tax records in castle archives were burned.
Today the castle has inner courtyard and corner towers. The courtyard is particularly well suited to hold various events. Nowadays the castle hosts the town’s Boardroom, and a reception area which is also suitable for exhibitions.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.