The first castle was built before 1100 on a hill in the middle of the village of Attinghausen. Virtually nothing is known about the first owners of the castle, although they were probably knights in the service of the Counts of Zähringen and they may have used the name von Attinghausen. By the 13th century, the original owners were gone from the castle and the von Schweinsberg family had come to own it, possibly through Ulrich von Schweinsberg marrying a daughter of the original Attinghausens. The original castle was probably a Motte-and-bailey castle which was spread across the hilltop.
The Freiherr von Schweinsberg first appears in documents in the 13th century from Wartenstein Castle in the Bernese Emmental. But a branch of the family was in Uri by the mid-13th century and had then occupied the castle, sometimes adopting the castle's name as their family name. They also built Schweinsberg Castle a short distance north of Attinghausen. By 1300, there were two branches: one under Werner II who held the lands in Uri, and another under Diethelm I in the Berner Oberland. The Uri branch of the family is traditionally believed to have been critical supporters of the Three Forest Cantons and the early Swiss Confederacy. Werner II and his son Johann were the Landammann of Uri from 1294 until 1358/59. It is unknown what role, if any, Werner played at the Battle of Morgarten in 1315, but in 1339 Johann led the army of Uri at the Battle of Laupen.
The Schweinsberg/Attinghausens replaced the original fortifications with an 11 by 11 meters square tower and a ring wall. The main entrance into the tower was via a wooden staircase to the second or third level. The gatehouse was in the western wall. A massive wooden structure was built on the southern side of the ring wall.
Around 1300, the wooden building was replaced with a large stone residential building, which may have had stables and granaries on the ground floor and bedrooms above. The family's wealth and influence continued to rise, and on 1 May 1351, Rudolf Brun of Zurich and Johann von Attinghausen signed an alliance that brought Zurich into the growing Swiss Confederation. In 1353 they received a fief that included the Imperial customs post at the Castle of Rudenz and he became the Rector over Valais. Johann died in 1358.
Johann's son, Jacob, was with the Pope in Avignon, but either did not return to Uri or died while returning. Two of his cousins, Werner and Johann von Simpeln, probably took over the Attinghausen lands and the castle in 1359. However, they both died soon thereafter, either from disease or in the 1360 fire that destroyed the castle. The Lords of Rudenz then inherited the Attinghausen lands, but could not afford to rebuild the castle. Instead they settled in Rudenz Castle in Flüelen and Attinghausen castle was abandoned.
In 1894 the castle ruins were first excavated and in 1896 they were sold to the Historical Society of Uri. In 1979 an archeological investigation of the ruins discovered numerous artifacts from the castle's residents. By 2007, the ruins were unsafe and the Historical Society closed them to the public. Through donations from the public they raised enough money to thoroughly investigate, document and repair the castle ruins. In 2012 the ruins reopened to the public.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.