Castell Dinas Brân is a medieval castle, built by the Princes of Powys Fadog, which occupies a prominent hilltop site above the town of Llangollen in Wales.
During the British Iron Age, around 600 BCE, a large hillfort was built on the summit of what was to become Dinas Brân by a Celtic tribe named the Ordovices. The earliest structure that might have been built at Dinas Brân is believed to have belonged to Elisedd ap Gwylog during the 8th century. Elisedd, who was a Romano British ruler during the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is named on the Pillar of Eliseg and is considered one of the founders of the Kingdom of Powys, however, no archaeological evidence for any structure from this period has been found.
The presently visible stone castle was probably built in the 1260s by Gruffydd Maelor II, a prince of Powys Fadog, on the site of several earlier structures. Following the end of the Conquest of North Wales by King of England, most of Powys Fadog including the castle was granted to John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey. Rather than rebuild Dinas Brân, De Warenne choose instead to build a new castle by the River Dee at Holt on the Flintshire-Cheshire border. Dinas Brân was left to fall into ruin.
Dinas Brân has rectangular stone defensive walls with the longer sides running in an east-west direction. The northern wall is defended with the steep natural slope that falls sharply downwards for several hundred feet. The walls on the gentler slopes on the southern and eastern sides are strengthened with an additional rock-cut ditch and counterscarp bank.References:
The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.
The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.
The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.