Rietberg Castle

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Rietberg Castle

Rietberg Castle is a castle in the municipality of Pratval of the Canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.[1]


During the Bündner Wirren, the castle was home to Pompeius Planta who was a prominent member of the Catholic, pro-Habsburg faction in the Three Leagues. In 1618, the young radical Jörg Jenatsch became a member of the court of 'clerical overseers' and a leader of the anti-Habsburg faction. The popular court in Thusis, which was associated with the overseers, outlawed many leading men from the pro-Habsburg faction, notably Rudolf Planta and his brother Pompeius Planta. With the support of the anti-Habsburg court, armed mobs attacked and arrested several pro-Habsburg leaders including the archpriest Nicholas Rusca and the provost at Johann Baptista who was known as Zambra. The Planta brothers escaped the mob, but their estates were burned. The mobs brought the captured men to the court in Thusis. Zambra was accused of conspiring with the Spanish, convicted and executed. Nicholas Rusca was beaten and died before the court could sentence him to death. The court also handed down 157 convictions against men who had escaped the mobs.[2]

In 1620, Catholic forces attacked and killed between 500[3] and 600[4] Protestants in the Valtellina valley. Around the same time Pompeius Planta returned to Rietburg believing that enough time had passed. However, on 24 February 1621, a force of anti-Habsburg troops led by Jörg Jenatsch assembled to attack the castle in retaliation for the killings in Valtellina. Early in the morning on 25 February, the troops attacked the castle and killed Pompeius Planta as he attempted to flee.[2] According to one version of the story, Pompeius attempted to hide in a chimney, but was discovered by a dog. He was attacked by the raiders and killed by Jenatsch with an axe.[5] Years later, Jenatsch converted to Catholicism and on 24 January 1639, he was killed during Carnival in Chur by an unknown attacker who was dressed as a bear. The attacker may have been a son of Pompeius Planta[3] or an assassin hired by the local aristocracy.[6] According to legend he was killed by the same axe that he used on Pompeius.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kantonsliste A-Objekte". KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2011.  External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ a b Graubünden's religious history[permanent dead link] (PDF; 3.95 MB) (German)
  3. ^ a b Swiss History (German) accessed 16 January 2012
  4. ^ Valtellina murders in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  5. ^ a b MacNamee, Terence (17 April 2012). "DNA tests aim to identify 17th century figure". Swissinfo.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Bündner Wirren in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.

Coordinates: 46°44′09″N 9°26′53″E / 46.735794°N 9.448035°E / 46.735794; 9.448035