During the Middle Ages the Fribourg noble family of Riggisberg was established with a seat in Riggisberg. The first one that appears in a historical record is Constantin de Rucasperc in 1140. The family soon lost or sold all their rights and land in the village and by the 13th century other nobles and monasteries owned parts of the village. In 1337 the Riggisberg line died out and their remaining estates passed on to other owners.
The castle was inherited by various families and relatives over the following centuries. In 1686, Hans Rudolf von Erlach lost the rights to the castle due to a judgement of the court. The castle was sold to Gabriel von Wattenwyl and he became the Schultheiss and owner of Riggisberg. Four months later he sold the estate and title to Albrecht von Erlach and the estate came back under the Erlach name. Around 1700 Albrecht decided to build a new, more comfortable castle near the First or Long Castle. In 1700 Albrecht von Erlach's new and more comfortable castle was finished.
The Steiger family opposed the new Helvetic Republic and Karl Friedrich stayed in Prussian controlled Neuchâtel while plotting the overthrow of the new Republic. The weak Republic government was unable to enforce its will and finally collapsed in 1802. Karl Friedrich joined the Committee that managed the country until the Act of Mediation in 1803. Switzerland remained a vassal state of the French Republic until Napoleon's defeat and the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Karl Friedrich Steiger became a Bernese Senator, an office that he held until his retirement in 1826. After retiring he spent his summers at Riggisberg Castle until he sold it to his youngest son Franz Georg von Steiger in 1830.
On 31 August 1832, weapons and ammunition were discovered at the Erlacherhof, which had been stockpiled by the 'Council of the Sevens' who planned to overthrow the reform-minded government. Franz Georg von Steiger was wrongly suspected as a co-conspirator, arrested and then set free after he paid a fine of fifty francs.
In 1869, his cousin, Robert Pigott from Ireland, inherited the estate. About a decade later, in 1880, he sold the castles to the Canton of Bern, who converted it into a poorhouse. In 1965-70 the new castle was renovated and converted into a district administration building.References:
The Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) is a large castle located in Nantes. It served as the centre of the historical province of Brittany until its separation in 1941. It was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries, subsequently becoming the Breton residence of the French Monarchy. Today the castle houses the Nantes History Museum.
The restored edifice now includes the new Nantes History Museum, installed in 32 of the castle rooms. The museum presents more than 850 objects of collection with the aid of multimedia devices. The castle and the museum try to offer a modern vision of the heritage by presenting the past, the present and the future of the city. Night-time illuminations at the castle further reinforce the revival of the site. The 500-metre round walk on the fortified ramparts provides views not just of the castle buildings and courtyards but also of the town.