The Łęczyca Royal Castle was erected by Casimir III the Great as a fortification during 1357–1370. Immediately after its completion, the Castle became a residence of king, and then was the seat of the governor of Łęczyca. In 1406 it was burned by the Teutonic Knights and rebuilt in the following years to serve as a place of a conference in 1409, where decisions were taken in connection with the approaching war with the Order. After the Battle of Grunwald many of the Teutonic Knights were incarcerated here. In subsequent years, four diets were held here (1420, 1448, 1454 and 1462), and the castle became the seat of the king Casimir IV Jagiellon during another war with the Order (1454-1466).
After a great fire in the second half of the 15th century the castle remained in ruins till the early 1560s. Then, in 1563–1565, Jan Lutomirski, Grand Treasurer of the Crown completely rebuilt the castle. The cost of the entire project amounted to nearly 3,000 florins, derived from the royal treasury. The disasters that struck the stronghold in the first half of the 17th century helped the Swedish General Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge to take the castle, which was defended by starosta Jakub Olbrycht Szczawiński, during the Deluge in 1655. The destruction was completed in 1707 during another Swedish occupation.
Over the next years local residents used the remains of the castle as a source of building materials. After the World War II, the castle became the seat of the scout troop, and in 1964 reconstruction started.References:
The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.
The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.
From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.