Beginning in 982 the Sargans region was part of the lands of the Counts of Bregenz. In 1160, the male line of the Counts of Bregenz died out. Count palatine Hugo of Türbingen inherited most of their lands, through his wife Elisabeth. His son, Hugo, inherited the Bregenz lands around Lake Constance, including Sargans. This Hugo, who adopted the name Montfort und Werdenberg built or expanded Sargans Castle before his death in 1228. Excavations around the oldest part of the castle show that there was an earlier fort or castle, but nothing is known about that building. Hugo built the large bergfried, expanded the walls to the west and may have built a palas on that side of the castle.
In the mid-13th century the Montfort und Werdenberg lands were divided between Hugo of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg and his brother Hartmann of Werdenberg-Sargans. Hartmann took up residence in the castle and probably expanded the palas. The castle was first mentioned in 1282. Over the following century the wealth and lands of the Counts of Werdenberg-Sargans were divided over and over again between descendants. By the last 14th century, Count Johann I ruled over a small and poor county under the Habsburgs. In the Battle of Näfels in 1388, the count commanded a wing of the Austrian army that was supposed to cross the Kerenzerberg Pass. However, when he saw the threatened destruction of the main Austrian army, he fled back over the pass. The cost of the war, as well as other expenses forced Johann I to sell the castle and village to Leopold of Austria.References:
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.