Halmstad Castle (Halmstads slott) is a 17th-century castle dating from the time when Halland was a province of Denmark. In 1595 the farm on the site where the castle now stands was purchased for use as a residence for the Danish Christian IV on his visit to Halmstad. It was under the authority of King Christian that the castle was constructed.
Construction on the castle and nine adjoining lots started in 1609. Construction was likely completed in 1615. Construction Manager and architect was Dutch architect Willum Cornelissen. The architecture of the castle is typical for the period, in a style known as Christian IV Renaissance. It is more reminiscent of contemporary Danish country houses than an elegant royal palace.
With the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645), and finally the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the castle came under the authority of Bengt Christoffersson Lilliehook, the first Swedish governor of Halland. When Halland became a province of Sweden, Halmstad Castle become a residence of visiting Swedish kings. The Swedes reinforced the castle and in 1658 was an inner fortress finished and the facade had been much smaller window.
From 1770 and until today, the castle has been restored several times. In modern times it has become the traditional residence of the governor of Halland County. The governor of the castle and the local authority have some of its offices here. In 1999 Music of Halland (Musik i Halland) moved in and during 2000 Halmstad Tourist (Halmstads Turistbyrå) established its offices in the east wing.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.