Aare and Burg makes Aarburg. The river Aare has been an essential defensive barrier since the Roman Era. Aarburg was not founded by Romans though, but one thousand years later by the Counts of Froburg, a local dynasty. The Habsburgers took control in the thirteenth century. The opening of the Gotthard pass (1230) and their ambitions in the area (and far beyond) made Aarburg and its castle an interesting asset. Berne occupied Aargau and Aarburg in 1415. The invasion of French troops put (1798) an end to the rule of Berne and other cantons and Aargau became an independent canton in 1803. Aarburg lost its strategic relevance and the canton became the new owner of the castle. (Source: www.aarburg.ch).