The name of the rulers of the Trachselwald Castle was first mentioned in 1131. The castle itself may date back to the 10th century but the 11th or 12th century is more likely. At first it belonged to the barons of Trachselwald, then to the barons of Rüti bei Lyssach, and then those of Sumiswald. The barons of Sumiswald sold the castle and surrounding lands to the city of Bern. Bern turned the castle into a sheriffhood.
The castle was rebuilt or expanded several times. Its oldest parts are the keep, which was built out of tuff, and one half of the main building. These parts of the castle were built in the second half of the 12th century. The stair tower was probably built by a master craftsman from Prismell in 1641.
During the Swiss peasant war of 1653, the peasant leader Niklaus Leuenberger, who was arrested on June 19, 1653 was held in Castle Trachselwald until being taken to Bern, where he was executed on August 27.
The castle was sacked during the 1798 French invasion, but was not burned. It became the center of administration of the district of Trachselwald.
The first castle consisted of a square keep that was about 10 m on each side. The keep and outer walls are made of tuff stone cut into roughly squared blocks which indicates construction before 1200. The dendrochronology dating of the beams indicates that they came from 1251 to 1253. Along with the keep, part of the main building was added during the first construction period. The original keep was probably surrounded by an elliptical ring wall.
In the 14th century the original two story keep doubled in height. In the 16th or 17th century a palas, dungeon and other buildings were added to the castle. The new additions were built in a Romanesque style, which included larger windows and thinner walls. A stair tower was added in 1641 and a granary was built in 1683. The palas was renovated during the 17th and 18th century into its current appearance. In 1751 a new, more decorative gate house was built along with a french garden.References:
The two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheatre was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting as well as plays and concerts in summer.
The building measures 136 m in length and 109 m wide, and features 120 arches. It has an oval arena surrounded by terraces, arcades on two levels (60 in all), bleachers, a system of galleries, drainage system in many corridors of access and staircases for a quick exit from the crowd. It was obviously inspired by the Colosseum in Rome (in 72-80), being built slightly later (in 90).
With the fall of the Empire in the 5th century, the amphitheatre became a shelter for the population and was transformed into a fortress with four towers (the southern tower is not restored). The structure encircled more than 200 houses, becoming a real town, with its public square built in the centre of the arena and two chapels, one in the centre of the building, and another one at the base of the west tower.
This new residential role continued until the late 18th century, and in 1825 through the initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée, the change to national historical monument began. In 1826, expropriation began of the houses built within the building, which ended by 1830 when the first event was organized in the arena - a race of the bulls to celebrate the taking of Algiers.
Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other Roman buildings of the city, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.