Taymouth Castle lies on the south bank of the River Tay, about a mile from Loch Tay, in the heartland of the Grampian Mountains.
Taymouth Castle stands on the site of the much older Balloch Castle, which was built in 1552, as the seat of the Campbell clan. In the early 19th century, Balloch Castle was demolished by the Campbells of Breadalbane, so that the new, much larger castle could be rebuilt on the site. The new castle's blue-grey stone was taken from the quarry at Bolfracks.
Built in a neo-Gothic style and on a lavish scale, Taymouth Castle is regarded as the most important Scottish castle in private ownership. Its public rooms are outstanding examples of the workmanship of the finest craftsmen of the 19th century. No expense was spared on the castle's interior, which was decorated with extravagant carvings, plasterwork and murals. Panels of medieval stained glass and Renaissance woodwork were incorporated into the scheme. Much of this decor still survives.
Francis Bernasconi, acknowledged as the greatest designer of fine plasterwork of the era, created the magnificent central staircase, that connects all four storeys of the central tower. Many of the ceilings were painted by Cornelius Dixon.
The castle is a Category A listed building, and the grounds, which include parklands and woodlands, are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, the national listing of significant gardens.References:
The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.
The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.