The present Ekenäs castle was built in the 17th century on top of the foundations of a medieval fortress from the 14th century. Ekenäs is one of the best preserved renaissance castles in Sweden with its three impressive shingled towers. Its military character is clearly shown by the surrounding moat and its situation on a cliff on the shore of a lake which has since been drained. One of the first owners of the property was Svante Sture, who lived during the reign of King Erik XIV. Sture built the first stonehouse built on this rock in 1562. Baron Peder Banér, councellor of the King, owned Ekenäs in 1630 - 1644. The castle was built in a Renaissance style.
Ekenäs is, and has always been, a privately owned castle. Visitors are welcome year-round, however, the castle itself is only open during the summer. A jousting tournament and Medieval festival has been held here in May/June every year since 1993.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.