The Palazzo Castelmur was built in 1723 for Johannes Redolfi. Around 1850 Baron Giovanni de Castelmur (1800-1871), a descendent of the Castelmur family from the nearby Castelmur Castle bought the Palazzo as well as the ruins of Castelmur Castle in Bondo. Giovanni was the son of a wealthy Marseille pastry shop owner, who after becoming a successful businessman returned to his family's ancestral village. At the age of 30 he became a property owner in the village, though it is still unclear how he managed to acquire his fortune or title. In 1840 he married his cousin Anna Castelmur (1813-1892) from the nearby village of Vicosoprano.
In 1850 Giovanni and Anna began the expansion and renovation of the old structure. Under the direction of Milanese architect Giovanni Crassi Marliani the exterior was redone in a Moorish inspired Neo-Gothic style. The brick front façade is flanked by two large towers, both the façade and towers crowned with machicolations and corbels. The older parts of the mansion were decorated with paneling and wall paper. The new additions were decorated in the Louis Philippe style with Rococo and Biedermeier elements. The walls are covered with ornate murals and silk wallpaper. Many of the ceilings were covered with trompe l'oeil paintings by Gaspare Tirinanzi and wall paintings by Zaverio Tessera. The Palazzo was surrounded with an English garden and a 2 m tall wall.
Both Giovanni and Anna were patrons of the arts and philanthropists who supported many organizations in the region. As the couple never had children, after Anna's death the Palazzo was inherited by other relatives. In 1961 the heirs sold the castle and surrounding lands to the local government of the Circolo di Bregaglia. The local government converted it into a museum. On the second floor is the Archivio Storico, an archive that stores and researches documents relating to the Val Bregaglia region. Additionally on the second floor there is a permanent exhibit dedicated to the history of Graubünden's pastry bakers, a tribute to Giovanni's upbringing.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.