Château de L'Échelle origins are unknown. A first castle at this site was probably founded in the 13th century. In the 15th century a band of Armagnacs, outlawed supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans, during the Hundred Years' War, settled in L'Echelle Castle and ravaged the area.
In 1594, Antoine de La Marche des Contes became Lord of L'Echelle by his marriage to Anne de Maucourt. Antoine, Governor of Sedan between 1599 and 1640, rebuilt L'Echelle Castle and gave it its present appearance. In 1642 Spanish troops plundered the village and attacked the castle. The castle walls still bear traces of this attack.
In 1730 the castle was acquired by the Chapter of Reims and transformed into a farm. During the French Revolution it was confiscated and sold as Bien Nationaux to a local hatter, Simon Pottier. He ceded the castle to the local community. The castle then became the town hall, a school and lodging for the head teacher.
At present L'Echelle Castle is still property of the village and houses a small local history museum.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.