The central tower and oldest part of the Rietberg Castle was built in the 13th century, though it may have been built around an earlier 12th-century tower. It was built for the Lords of Rietberg, who in 1286 were vassals of the Freiherr von Sax-Misox. In the 14th century they became vassals of the Bishop of Chur. At that time they held the castle and estates in Schams, Chur and Oberhalbstein and were the bishop's representative in Oberhalbstein and Oberengadin. The last male member of the Rietberg line, Johann von Reitberg, attempted to guarantee that the castle and his estates would pass to his wife, Berta von Rhäzüns, and to his relative Hermann von Landenberg. However, after his death in 1349 the Bishop of Chur claimed the castle. In 1353 he succeed in forcing the Landenbergs to sign away their claim to the castle and estates. Other claims to the castle continued to simmer until 1388 then the Bishop paid off the Lords of Rhäzüns and Lumerins to settle their claims.
The Bishop used the castle, its estates and the office of vogt as collateral for loans from a number of wealthy families or as a reward for gifts from those same families. In 1384 Eglolf von Juvalt lived in the castle. In 1398 the bishop mortgaged the castle to Jakob von Castelmur for 500 silver marks. It was mortgaged again in 1409 to Conradin Rambach and the cathedral chapter, again in 1426 to Bartolomäus Planta and in 1447 to Hans Wellenberg. In 1450 it was mortgaged to Hans Ringg, who passed it to his son Wilhelm in 1483. It continued to used as collateral into the 16th and 17th centuries. Around 1530 it went to Anton von Travers, followed by Hercules von Salis in 1554. In 1617 it came to the Planta family.
It was the site of the murder of Pompeius Planta in 1621 by Jörg Jenatsch during the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants known as the Bündner Wirren.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.