A castle in Arbon is first mentioned in 720 in a history of St. Gall Abbey. It stood on or near the site of the Roman era Arbor Felix fortress from 250 AD. After the Romans retreated south of the Alps around 400, the old fortress was abandoned. Sometime later a Frankish castle was built in Arbon probably for the Frankish royal family. By around 700, Arbon and presumably the castle, were the property of the diocese of Constance and an ecclesiastic overseer or bailiff ruled over Arbon.
The oldest part of the current castle is a 13th-century, originally free standing, residential tower. The tower may have been built on the foundation of an earlier building. The lower walls are up to 3.2 meters thick. Inside the castle there are two Romanesque fireplaces. In 1515-20 the Bishop Hugo von Hohenlandenberg rebuilt the castle to its current appearance. The old tower was rebuilt into a U shape. The upper most story, the gables and the hip roof are also from this reconstruction. The outer wall of the castle moved to stand exactly over the north-west corner of the Roman era fortress.
In 1822 the Stoffel silk ribbon weaving company moved into the castle. They remained there until 1907. In 1911 the castle was bought by Adolph Saurer, the founder of Adolph Saurer AG. He built workshops around the castle building as he experimented with motors, trucks and machinery. In 1944 his son, Hippolyt Saurer sold the castle to the city. The city renovated and expanded the castle and in 1967 opened the Historisches Museum Arbon (Arbon History Museum).References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.