October 31, 2012

Château d'If

The Château d'If is a fortress (later a prison) located on the island of If in the Frioul Archipelago (L`Archipel du Frioul) situated in the Mediterranean Sea. The Frioul Archipelago consists of four islands, all reaching 200 hectares. The island of If, adjacent to the islands Pomeg and Raton, is the smallest island of the archipelago of Friuli (at the widest point the island reaches 180 m, and the maximum length is 300 m) and is located about a mile offshore in the Bay of Marseille in southeastern France.
This is a file from website neijazeugme.deviantart.com, Author: NeijaZeugme 

October 30, 2012

Khotyn Fortress

The Khotyn Fortress (Ukrainian: Хотинська фортеця, Polish: twierdza w Chocimiu, Turkish: Hotin Kalesi, Romanian: Cetatea Hotinului) is a fortification complex located on the right bank of the Dniester River in Khotyn town, Chernivtsi Oblast’, Ukraine.
This is a file from funnyfunda.com
The beginning of Khotyn Fortress goes back to the Khotyn Fort. The fort was built in the 10th century by Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich as one of the border fortifications of southwestern Kyivan Rus', after he added the land of present-day Bukovina into his control. The Khotyn fort, which eventually was rebuilt into a fortress, was located on important transportation routes, which connected Scandinavia and Kyiv with the Lowlands, Podillia, Genoese and Greek colonies on the Black Sea, through Moldavia and Wallachia, on the famous "trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks". The fortification was built on a rocky cape, which was formed by the high right bank of the Dniester River and the valley of small its tributary. The cape was called "Khotin" from the Ukrainian verb "хотiти" (literally "to want") because the cape was desirable and safe place for the ancient settlers.

October 27, 2012

Bohus Fortress

Bohus Fortress (also known as Baahus or Bagahus; Norwegian: Båhus festning; Swedish: Bohus fästning) is a Swedish fortress, which is located on 40 meter cliff in Bagaholmen Island, Kungälv city, Sweden, north east from Hisingen where the Göta river splits into two branches (20 kilometres north of Gothenburg).

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, License 

Unfortunately, it is unknown, when Kungälv, or Konghelle was founded. However, Konghelle appears in the Icelandic sagas and the famous storyteller Snorri Sturluson actually visited the town himself. It is believed that Konghelle settlement existed already in the 9th century near the river with rich agriculture. In the beginning of 12th century, the Norwegian King Sigurd I Magnusson (Sigurd Jorsalfare/Sigurd the Crusader), who reigned AD 1103 – 1130, favored Konghelle and used it as the capital of Norway and an important power base.

October 26, 2012

Palace of Pena

Palace of Pena (Portuguese: Palácio Nacional da Pena) is the most complete and striking example of Portuguese architecture of Romanticism. It is located on one of the rocky peaks in São Pedro de Penaferrim, municipality of Sintra, Portugal and fits perfectly into the rocky landscape covered with emerald streams of greenery.
This is a file from www.liveinternet.ru, Authors: manzanara and at_no_time
The palace's history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, the construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary. In 1493, King John II, accompanied by his wife Queen Leonor, made a pilgrimage to the site to fulfill a vow. His successor, King Manuel I, was also very fond of this sanctuary, and ordered the construction there of a monastery, which was donated to the Order of Saint Jerome. For centuries Pena was a small, quiet place for meditation, housing a maximum of eighteen monks.

October 20, 2012

Soroca castle

Soroca castle (Romanian: Cetatea Soroca) is a historic fortress in the Republic of Moldova, in the modern-day city of Soroca.
This is a file from website  soroki-navsegda.ucoz.ru
Soroca city has its origin from the medieval Genoese trade post Olchionia, or Alchona. In the 15th century, on this site, the Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great (Romanian: Ştefan cel Mare) built a wooden and earthen fortress, called Saraci (Moldavian: sarac, i.e., poor, hapless, orphan, as the locals for a long time were been forced to hide from the persecution of the Crimean Tatars in the nearby caves). In the 18th century the name was changed to the Soroca.

October 16, 2012

Kreuzenstein Castle

Kreuzenstein Castle  (also known as Burg Kreuzenstein) is the beautiful castle of 19th century,  located north of the village of Leobendorf, east of the city of Stockerau in the province of Lower Austria in Austria.

This is a file from www.ermaktravel.com
Schloss Kreuzenstein is first mentioned in the 12th century. The oldest part of the Kreuzenstein Castle dates back to the 1115. It is believed that the first name of the castle "Grizanstein» comes from Dietrich von Grizanstaine which was the owner of the castle in the 12th century. 

October 13, 2012

Trakai Island Castle

Trakai Island Castle (Lithuanian: Trakų salos pilis) is an island castle located in Trakai, Lithuania on an island in Lake Galvė. The castle is sometimes referred to as "Little Marienburg".

This is a file from wikimapia.org, Author: ArnoutSteenhoek
According to the chronicle legend, after a successful hunt, Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas  found a great place near the town of Kernave and decided to erect a castle on it and move the capital here. In the second half of the 14th century, here in the Old Traki (Syaneyi Trakai), was standing stone castle. Rules to them in 1337-1382 son of Gediminas Kęstutis. Around 1350 in the castle was born Vytautas. In 1375, Kęstutis moved his capital from Old Traki to New Traki, which was protected by Lake Galvė. The construction of Trakai Island Castle was related to the expansion and strengthening of the Trakai Peninsula Castle. Castle in the Old Traki in 1391 was destroyed and never rebuilt. In 1405, a plot of land with the remains of the old castle was given to the Benedictine monks. The monastery stands on the old citadel.

October 8, 2012

Chillon Castle

Chillon Castle  (France: Château de Chillon) is located on the shore of Lake Geneva in the commune of Veytaux, at the eastern end of the lake, 3 km from Montreux, Switzerland. The castle consists of 100 independent buildings that were gradually connected to become the building as it stands now.
This is a file from Wikimedia Commons, Author    Bolla Ugo, License
The first written record of the castle is in 1160 or 1005, although, according to some sources, the first fortification on the site of the present Chillon Castle was built around the 9th century. Its goal was to protect the road running from Avenches to Italy through the pass Grand-Saint-Bernard along Lake Geneva. 

October 6, 2012

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein, [nɔʏˈʃvaːnʃtaɪn], literally: "The new swan rock") is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany.
This is a file from the allcastle.info
Neuschwanstein Castle stands on the site of two castles, Vorderhohenschwangau Castle and Hinterhohenschwangau Castle. For technical reasons the ruined castles could not be integrated into the plan. In 1868, the ruins of the medieval twin castles were demolished completely; the remains of the old keep were blown up. Furthermore, King Ludwig II ordered to lower the plateau of about 8 m by an explosion rocks at this place and thus create space for the construction of "fairy palace." After the construction of the road and pipeline 5 September 1869 the foundation was laid for the construction of a huge castle.  Construction of the castle was requested court architect Eduard Riedel. The building design was drafted by the master of Munich Christian Jank.

October 3, 2012

Predjama Castle

Predjama Castle (Slovene: Predjamski Grad or Grad Predjama, German: Höhlenburg Lueg, Italian: Castel Lueghi) is a Renaissance castle built within a cave mouth in southwestern Slovenia. It is located approximately 11 kilometres on north west of the town Postojna.
Predjama Castle was probably built in the 12th century but was first mentioned in the year 1274 with the German name Luegg. It was built in an area that was controlled by the town of Aquilea but was contested by the Counts of Gorizia. The castle was built under a natural rocky arch high in the stone wall to make access to it difficult. In those times the castle was called Jama Castle (Jama translates to cave).It was later acquired and expanded by the Luegg noble family, also known as the Knights of Adelsberg (the German name of Postojna).