Daugavgrīva Castle was originally a monastery converted as a fortress by Swedish in the 17th century. Today there are no remnants of the medieval castle above the soil.
In 1208 there was a Dünaburg castle built by the Teutonic Knights which initially served as a monastery. The Swedish fortress of Dünamünde, designed in a Dutch style by General Rothenburg in 1641, replaced the ruined Daugavgrīva Castle by 1680. In 1695 the Commandant was captain Heinrich Nicolaus Rüdinger, forefather of future Patriarch Alexy II of Russia. Rüdinger was knighted by Charles XI of Sweden. Joachim Cronman later became the Commandant and he died on March 5, 1703.
After the fortress was seized by the Russians they reconstructed it. Regent Anna Leopoldovna of Russia, her husband Anthony Ulrich, and her son Ivan VI were incarcerated in Dünamünde in 1742. A local Lutheran church was rebuilt into the Orthodox Church of the Saviour's Transfiguration in 1775. The Russian government renamed the fortress, where only Russian soldiers were living, to Ust-Dvinsk in 1893. They had its fortifications completely reconstructed prior to World War I. During the war Ust-Dvinsk was bombarded by the Schütte-Lanz Airship SL 7 of the German Army. After the fortress was taken by Imperial Germany, it was inspected by Emperor Wilhelm II in 1917. The Latvian government, however, demolished much of the fortifications several years later. During the Cold War Ust-Dvinsk was a base for Soviet troops. The site is now known in Latvian as Daugavgrīva. There is a functional lighthouse at Daugavgrīva which was originally built in 1818. It was rebuilt in 1863, 1920, and after World War II.
Nowadays entrance in the area of castle goes along the northeastern corner. Still there is partly visible the old road which was leading from northeastern tower around the forepart of the castle up to the southeastern corner.References:
Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.
Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.
In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.
After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.