Sztum Castle was built between 1326-1331. It functioned as a bridge-head protection the Malbork fortress from the South. At that time a stone and brick wall with a gate and one or possibly two corner towers surrounded the territory of the castle hill.
The extension of the castle complex carried out in the 14th century was commenced starting from the southern and eastern wings. The wing that functioned as a summer residence of Grand Master was built in the years 1416-1418 at the Western wing. Not considering shorter breaks, the castle in Sztum was under the control of the Teutonic Knights" Order until 1466 when it had to be passed to Poland in consequence of the Torurn Peace Treaty and became the residence of Polish starosts for many year. In the period 1530-1624 the castle was considerably redesigned, which consisted mainly in constructing new charring buildings on the castle grounds.
The castle was destroyed after the Swedish invasion and rebuilt in the years 1660-1664. As a result of the next destruction after the fire of the city in 1683 and the third PolishSwedish war, all the roofs of the castle towers were burnt apart from the one covering the gate tower.In 1772 Sztum found itself again under the German control and the castle became the seat of the Prussian Treasury Management and since the beginning of the 19th century the location of the District Court. After 1776 and in the years 1812, 1819, 1864-1866 and 1899 a systematic demolition of the castle wall and the rebuilding of the wings was the case.
The overhaul works were significantly limited in 1929 when only ruined parts were renovated and the entrance gate was partly reconstructed. After 1945 District Court found its location in a preserved, 19th century part of the castle, whereas the southern wing was divided in flats.
The Historic Museum of Powisle situated in the southern wing in 1968 was closed at the beginning of the 80"s because of the overhaul works undertaken in the southern part of the castle The said have not been finished until present day. The council of the city and commune of Sztum adopted a resolution to develop and manage the area of the Castle Hill. Nowadays, historic dances, staging some events, archery, cross-bow shows, as well as presentations given by foot knights who fight with various types of medieval weapon remind the inhabitants and numerous tourists about the eventful history of the city. Tournaments, knightly tourneys, pleinair painting and major celebrations connected with the Days of the Sztum District are held in or at the foot of the castle.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.