Blankenhain Castle is a large castle in Blankenhain near Crimmitschau. The castle dates back to the 12th century. It is first documented in 1423 as Wasserburg. Half of it burned down in 1661 and was rebuilt in 1699 (some sources say 1700). In 1765 the castle acquired its current Baroque appearance with mansard roof and domed towers. After World War II, the Soviet regime ordered the castle destroyed, but it was saved by the intervention of courageous locals. Since 1981, the castle and the surrounding land have been developed as an open-air museum of agriculture and rural life in central Germany between 1890 and 1990. The museum covers 11 hectares, including 60 buildings.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.