Church of St. Gertrude (Šv. Gertrūdos bažnyčia) is one of the oldest Brick Gothic churches in Lithuania. The exact date when the church was built is unknown, but it must have been in the 15th century. In 1503 Grand Duke of Lithuania Alexander designated the church as a parish church of Kaunas. In the middle of the 16th century a bell tower was attached. The church was damaged in 1655 during the Russo-Polish War (1654–1667). It was rebuilt only around 1680. Around 1750 a wooden hospital was attached to the church. In 1782 it was abandoned for a long time, and at the time there were 5 monks from order of St. Roch residing. In 1796 the church was renovated, organs installed, and living quarters for aparson established. The church was consecrated in 1794.
In 1812 Kaunas suffered from a major fire, which also damaged the church. The hospital was abandoned, and in 1824 transferred to the sister order of Caritas. The monastery was closed in 1864 after the January Uprising. The old hospital was demolished in 1880. In 1921 the church was assigned to the Marianites of Holy Cross and a monastery was built nearby. In 1920 the church was daubed. In 1992 a complex renovation of the church and monastery took place. Since 1991 the Mass is held in the church again, and the Marianites monastery has been returned to the monks.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.