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 Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.