The first structure on the site of Old Bümpliz Castle was a Burgundian royal estate which was built around 900. Around 1250-1270 a round stone tower was built in the center of the site. This round tower was quite unusual for Bernese castles but may indicate a savoyard influence. Since Peter II of Savoy held authority over Bern at the time, it is likely, but not confirmed, that the round tower was built as a symbol of Savoy's power. The round tower no longer exists, but its location is marked with a cross on the floor of the current restaurant terrace. Shortly after the construction of the tower, the wooden wall was replaced with a stone wall and a half-round tower was added to protect the wall. The round central tower was demolished in the following decades. The growing Bernese power began to force Savoy out of Bümpliz and by the late 13th century, there were Bernese nobles who were naming themselves after their estates in Bümpliz. Under the Bernese nobles, the castle remained unchanged until 1470.
In 1470 Bümpliz village and the castle became part of the lands of the powerful Bernese patrician Erlach family. The castle was rebuilt from a purely defensive structure into an impressive administrative and residential castle. A new gatehouse tower was built, and stands, almost unchanged, today. The supports and structure of the drawbridge over the moat are still visible today.
In the following century, the Old Castle became increasingly old fashioned and uncomfortable. In 1742, Daniel Tschiffely hired Albrecht Stürler to replace the old building with the Neues Schloss Bümpliz. The New Castle was built southwest of the Old Castle. During construction, much of the Old Castle was pulled down or rebuilt.
In 1839 Johann Friedrich Albrecht Tribolet bought the Old and New Castles from Carl von Tavel. He rebuilt the buildings and used them as a private sanatorium for mental patients.
In 1979/80 the Castle was rebuilt. The gate was reopened in the gatehouse, a portion of the moat was excavated and a drawbridge added. The windows were rebuilt in the baroque style and the burned roof was rebuilt as close to original as possible. The north-west wing was rebuilt, while the north-east wing was recreated in concrete and glass. A restaurant opened in the north-east wing, the gatehouse and the courtyard. The rest of the building was converted into the Bümpliz village archives and into meeting rooms or offices.References:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.