Samobor Castle was built on a hill above the crossroads of then important routes in the northwestern corner of the Sava valley, above the medieval market town of Samobor. The castle was erected by the supporters of Czech king, Ottokar II of Bohemia, between 1260 and 1264, who was then in a war with Hungarian king Stephen V. Croatian-Hungarian forces under command of duke of Okić soon retook the castle, for which he was granted the city of Samobor, as well as the privilege to collect local taxes.
The fortification was originally a stone fortress built on solid rock - in an irregular and indented layout, which consists of three parts, out of which the central core represents the oldest part of the castle. In the southeastern part of the core there was a high guard tower (nowadays in ruins), which is the only remaining original part of Ottokar castle. Just next to the guard tower lies a semicircular tower with a small gothic chapel of St. Ana which is estimated to be built in third decade of the 16th century.
In the third decade of the 16th century, reshaping of a castle begint which was done by a gradual expansion of the core towards the north. The fortification thus became an elongated trapezoidal courtyard surrounded by a strong defensive wall and with a pentagonal tower on its ends. Throughout 17th and 18th century, the castle was upgraded and reconstructed. The last building inside the fortress was a three-storey house on its southern side, which along with castle's upper parts forms a courtyard. Its facades are divided by Tuscan columned porches, and its interior is rich with the equipment. This move transformed a castle from its original fortificational function into a countryside baroque styled castle. Last residents left the castle in the end of the 18th century, which triggered the gradual castle's decadence into a shape that it is today.
Nowadays, Samobor Castle is just a picturesque ruin above Vugrinščak creek in Samobor city centre. Even though a project of castle restoration exists, only the chapel walls were renovated so far. In its restoration, the stones of the ruined castle parts, cement and slaked lime were used.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.