The shore of Lake Biel was inhabited during the neolithic period. A neolithic shoreline settlement has been discovered near the municipal border close to the village of Schafis, which is part of the La Neuveville municipality. Other traces of prehistoric settlements include scattered Bronze Age and Roman era artifacts. During the Middle Ages Ligerz was ruled by the Lords of Ligerz, who held it as a fief for the Counts of Nidau. Their castle, the Festi, first appeared in historical records in 1236. In 1358, the Herrschaft of Ligerz was divided between two lines of the ruling family. At the end of the 14th century, the lands were pledged to the city of Biel to secure a loan. Between 1388 and 1393, Bern acquired the sovereignty over the land of the Counts of Nidau including Ligerz village and the surrounding lands. However, Bern did not own either half of the land of Ligerz. The two halves were sold to the von Büren and von Muleren families, both Bernese patrician families. In 1409 one half of the Herrschaft was sold to the city of Biel, while the other half was sold in Bern in 1469. Finally in 1551, Biel sold the other half of Ligerz to Bern. In 1553 Bern reaffirmed the old market and fishing rights that the village had received from earlier rulers.