During the 12th century the Bishop of Basel granted the Buchsgau region, which included the village of Oberbipp, to the Count of Froburg to hold as a fief. By 1268 Bipp Castle is first mentioned in a document. During the 13th century the counts of Froburg appear to have gradually lost most of their holdings in the Buchsgau until only the villages of Bipp, Wiedlisbach and Erlinsburg remained. At some point in the following years the Froburgs also lost ownership of Bipp Castle, though whether it was sold or captured is not clear.
In 1297 Count Rudolf of Neuchâtel-Nidau granted the castle to one of his Ministerialis knights. Then, in 1313 Rudolf’s son, also a Rudolf, granted the castle and the right to collect tolls on the bridge to Aarwangen. In 1362 Count Rudolf of Nidau became the Lord of Froburg along with his other titles. However, when he died childless his estates were divided between several family members. Eventually, Rudolf of Kyburg inherited the castle and surrounding lands. Following a disastrous Kyburg raid on Solothurn which led to the Burgdorferkrieg (1383-84), the lands were sold to the Habsburgs in 1385. In the following year Bipp went to Basel and then in 1406 back to the Kyburgs, who had to sell it to Solothurn and Bern in the same year.
Until 1463 Bern and Solothurn jointly administered the nearby villages from Bipp Castle. After this, Solothurn received the Neu-Bechburg vogtei and Bipp became fully part of Bern. The castle became the seat of the Bernese ‘’landvogt’’ or reeve. Over the following three centuries a total of 62 Bernese administrators ruled over the region.
On 2 March 1798 the French Army captured Solothurn during their invasion of Switzerland. The last Bernese landvogt fled Bipp Castle ahead of the invading army. The residents of Oberbipp and Niederbipp then plundered the castle, taking everything they could carry off. A French report from 16 March 1798 records that the castle was uninhabitable because even the windows and doors had been carried off.
The ruins of Bipp Castle were sold in 1805 and were partly demolished to provide stone for other buildings. In 1855 the ruins were sold to the Stehlin family of Basel, who built a small mansion on the site of the former castle granary.
The castle was built on hill near the village of Oberbipp. The castle was an elongated polygon with a massive palas on the eastern side and a slender, round bergfried on the west, connected by a line of buildings. The northern side of the castle was a curtain wall connecting the palas and bergfried. The main wall was further protected with a lower, outer wall with several round and square towers. A granary and stables were outside the wall on the southern flank of the castle hill.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".