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:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.