During the High Middle Ages the Freiherr von Rümligen owned a vast swathe of land between the Gürbe and Sense rivers. The first appearance of the family in the historical record is in 1076 when Lütold von Rümligen founded Rüeggisberg Priory. By the 13th century they were allied with Bern and in 1320-21 Berchtold von Rümligen (1294-1337) was the Schultheiss in Bern. The Simmental and Summerau lines of the Rümligen family eventually split off and gained extensive lands of their own.
In 1380 the Sommerau-Rümligen family merged back into the main line and inherited the land when Alisa von Rümligen married Peter von Sommerau. In 1388 the Freiherren came under Bernese control, though they continued to own the estates for another century and a half. Gilian von Sommerau-Rümligen was the grandson of Peter and a bailiff in several Bernese cities. He was also a Bernese captain in the Battle of Nancy in 1447. However, his descendants quickly became impoverished and sold the Herrschaft of Rümligen to Bern for 370 pounds. The last Freiherr von Rümligen died unmarried in 1579.
By the 17th century a series of Bernese patrician families owned Rümligen. After passing through a couple of owners, in 1634 Johann Rudolf von Erlach bought the castle and estates. His grandson sold it in 1680 to Ferdinand von Wattenwyl. They sold the castle to Samuel Frisching who passed it on to his son Samuel Frisching (II) when he died in 1683. In 1709 Samuel Frisching (II) built a new Baroque castle around the medieval core. Frisching had a distinguished career. In 1712 as the head of the Bernese War Council he commanded the Protestant Bernese troops to victory in the Toggenburg War. In 1715 he was elected Schultheiss of Bern, an office he held until his death on 23 October 1723.
Following the 1798 French invasion and the creation of the Helvetic Republic the owners of the castle retained it by lost their manorial rights over the villagers. Rümligen remained with the Frisching family until the marriage of Alette Sophie Rosine Frisching to Friedrich von Wattenwyl von Bursinel in 1838. Following the death of their son, Friedrich von Wattenwyl in 1877, the castle was inherited by Dr. Ludwig Moritz Albert Tscharner who often lived at the castle until his death in 1927.
The medieval tower is still visible above the castle, though it was given a Baroque mansard roof in the 18th century. It is possible that the medieval castle was built on or included a much earlier, Roman era watch tower. The residential wing to the south of the tower is probably also medieval, but was extensively rebuilt at the same time. The tower and wing partly enclose a garden and courtyard which were cut into the hill side.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.