The Lords of Jegistorf were first mentioned in the 12th century, in the service of the Dukes of Zähringen. They built the large square castle tower around that time. The original castle was probably surrounded by wooden walls. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the wooden walls were replaced with stone. In 1300, shortly before the Lords of Jegenstorf died out, the Erlach family acquired the herrschaft of Jegenstorf. However, the Jegistorf holdings had already been divided and the castle remained out of Erlach hands until the 14th or 15th century. Through a combination of political marriages and purchases, in 1519, Johann von Erlach (1474-1539) became the ruler of the castle, the village, the herrschaft and the Jegenstorf court. During the same year he also became the Schultheiss of Bern. It remained in Erlach hands until 1584.
In 1584 it passed to the von Bonstetten family, who held it until 1675. It then went to the von Wattenwyl family who held it until 1720. In 1720 Albrecht Friedrich von Erlach bought the castle back. Under Albrecht Friedrich, the castle was expanded and renovated. The old tower was rebuilt as a baroque tower house and the castle converted into a country manor house.
In the 18th century the castle passed to the Stürler family. In 1765 Anton Ludwig Stürler sold the castle to his brother Johann Rudolf Stürler, who passed it on to his son Johann Rudolf in 1789. The castle was spared any damage during the 1798 French invasion. By 1812, however, Johann Rudolf was in financial difficulties and sold the castle to his cousin Rudolf Gabriel Stürler of Serraux. In 1913-1915 the house was renovated and modernized under Arthur Albert Vinzenz von Stürler. After the death of Arthur Albert Vinzenz in 1934, the castle was purchased by a preservation association.
On 9 October 1944 General Henri Guisan, the supreme commander of the Swiss Army, moved his command post from Interlaken to Jegenstorf. At the same time, much of the army's General Staff moved to Burgdorf. Guisan set up his command post in Jegenstorf castle. He was given two rooms in the castle in the south-west wing for his personal use.
In 1954, a foundation was created to preserve and operate the castle and create a museum. Since 1955, the village museum of Jegenstorf has been open in the castle.
Originally the castle consisted of a square tower. During the High Middle Ages it expanded to a castle with a keep, a corner tower, a housing wing and a central courtyard. The castle was surrounded by a double, water filled moat. In 1720 it was converted into a baroque manor house. Three more corner towers were added to join the original south-eastern corner tower and a hallway was added to join the towers together. The four towers formed a symmetrical box around the original keep. The main northern entrance into the keep was updated with a grand staircase, a balcony and decorative carvings. The south and eastern facades each received a triangular pediment.
The interior was redecorated in 1913–15. The dining room was decorated with a series of allegorical paintings of the affairs of Katharina Perregaux-von Wattenwyl, which were painted in 1690 by Joseph Werner for Reichenbach Castle. Several masonry heaters from the 18th century were moved into the castle during this renovation. Two of the most interesting are covered in blue glazed tiles and are signed and dated by Urs Johann Wiswalt in 1723. In the first upper story, the so-called Herkulessaal (Hercules hall) is decorated with a statue of Hercules battling the Hydra from the 17th century. The castle is surrounded by a large park with an 18th-century Orangery and a neo-Gothic pavilion which was built in 1890. The pavilion is decorated with a statue of Minerva which was carved by Johann Friedrich I Funk in 1773.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.