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:
The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.
Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.
Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.
In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.
The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.