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 Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.
According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.
In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.
The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.
The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.
In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.
The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.