In 999 the Abbot of Moutier-Grandval Abbey gave his extensive landholdings around Lake Biel, including where La Neuveville would be founded, to the Prince-Bishop of Basel. At that time the region was known as Nugerol and over the next centuries the Bishop of Basel and the Counts of Neuchâtel often quarreled over the land. In 1283 the Prince-Bishop Henry von Isny began to have Schlossberg Castle built on the slopes of the Jura Mountains. Construction finished up in 1288 under the next Prince-Bishop, Peter Reich von Reichenstein. The castle was intended to help defend his claim to the land. To further solidify his claims, around 1310, the next Prince-Bishop, Gérard de Vuippens, founded the town of La Neuveville. The town and castle pushed the borders of the County of Neuchâtel to the eastern side of the Ruz de Vaux stream.
The Bishops appointed castellans who were required to live in the castle and to defend it if attacked. After the town of La Neuveville was established, the castellan of the castle also governed the town.
In 1342, the Prince-Bishops signed a treaty with the Counts of Neuchâtel which established the border between their lands. With the treaty, Schlossberg lost much of its original strategic importance. In 1367 fighting broke out between the Prince-Bishop Johann von Vienne and the city of Bern. The Prince-Bishop fled to Schlossberg Castle ahead of a Bernese army. Bern then besieged the town of La Neuveville and the castle. The citizens of La Neuveville rallied around the Prince-Bishop and drove the Bernese army away. In response, the Prince-Bishop granted the town additional rights and privileges in 1368.
Starting in 1532, the castellan began living in the town and only visited the castle. About two decades later, in 1556, the castellan completely moved into town. The castle began to slowly fall into disrepair. In 1799, after the 1798 French invasion, the castle was sold by the French government to a private owner. It was repaired in 1884 by Charles-Louis Schnider-Gibollet and again in 1930-32 by Louis-Philippe Imer. Following the renovation, in 1933, Louis-Philippe gave the castle to the community of La Neuveville and the Canton of Bern. Today a foundation established by the community maintains the castle and rents portions out.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.