Strzelce Opolskie Castle was a former residence of the Dukes of Opole located in Strzelce Opolskie. The castle was burned down during World War II by the Soviets and remains in ruins to this day.
The town of Strzelce Opolskie was situated on the trade route Kraków–Wrocław–Dresden. The settlement was initially surrounded by a thick forest. An original wooden hunting lodge was probably replaced by a stone structure in the 13th century. The castle was first mentioned in Liber fundationis episcopatus Vratislaviensis as Castrum Strelecense. The document is believed to be compiled in 1305.
The castle was built on a simple rectangular plan measuring 16,1 x 13,9 m and was, in fact, a limestone tower. In 1323 Albert became the duke of an independent Duchy of Strzelce/Strehlitz. He carried out extensive renovations to the castle and built a series of fortifications and a moat around it. After his death the castle and the duchy was taken over by the Piasts of Niemodlin and after the extinction of the line in 1382 it was passed to the Piasts of Opole. The dynasty owned the castle up to its extinction in 1532.
In the first half of the 16th century the castle was in very poor condition. From 1562 to 1596 major renovation works were carried out. From the middle of the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century it was in hands of the Colonna family. The castle's heyday came after 1815 when Andreas Renard took its ownership and made it his main residence. An English-style landscape park was created in 1832. In 1840 Andreas Renard extended and remodelled the palace adding an adjacent tower and building horse stables near the west wing.
From 1932 to 1945 the palace was possessed by the Castell family. On 21 January 1945 Soviet troops set the town and castle on fire. The building remains in ruins to this day.References:
The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III 'the Noble' until its conquest by Castile (1512). The fortification is both castle and palace, although it was built more like a courtier building to fulfill a military function.
On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.
Then the palace was housing the Navarrese court from the 14th until 16th centuries, Since the annexation (integration) of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile in 1512 began the decline of the castle and therefore its practically neglect and deterioration. At that time it was an official residence for the Viceroys of Navarre.
In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.