The Order of Brothers of the German House Saint Mary In Jerusalem took possession on the land of Gniew in 1283. Based on the law of Che³mno in 1297 the city stood next to the Teutonic castle built to the pattern of convent castles. The monumental silhouette along with the church of St. Nicholas is still constitute the characteristic dominant of the southern panorama of Gniew.
The Gniew Castle was the most powerful claim of the Teutonic Order on the left bank of the Vistula. Built at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, it was the home of the Knights commanders, and in the times of Poland, when the town belonged to Poland, it was a mayor"s seat. The castle was rebuilt in several times (granary, prison) and eventually burned in the Great Fire in 1921.
In the years 1968-1974, the FAMA Ship Machinery Works in Gniew undertook the first stage of the reconstruction of the castle, completed by laying the ceiling over the top storey, roofing the building and covering the roof with ceramic tiles. Under the public works in 1992, the Council of the Town and Commune of Gniew began the second stage of renovation including the construction of the ceiling in the west and east wings, adaptation of the interior and reconstruction of the chapel as well as adaptation of the Castle Hill to serve tourism purposes. Currnetly the Gniew castle is owned by the corporation of castles 'Zamek Gniew'.
Fortress also houses branch of the Archaeological Museum in Gdansk, Husar"s banner under the auspices of Marshal of Pomeranian Voivodeship, Yellow infantry regiment of Adolfusa Gustawusa II, Schola Cantorum Gymevensis Choir, Hunting Center and the Military History Society of the brotherhood of Gdansk. Since 1992, the castle has been used as a venue for spectacles, historical shows and chivalric tournaments. Today it is recognized as one of the major centers for promoting and maintaining the medieval tradition and heritage in Poland. Throughout the year are organized events, conferences, conventions, scientific symposia, banquets, and historical feasts.References:
Olargues is a good example of a French medieval town and rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was occupied by the Romans, the Vandals and the Visigoths. At the end of the 11th century the Jaur valley came under the authority of the Château of the Viscount of Minerve. The following centuries saw a succession of wars and epidemics, and it was not until the 18th century that Olargues became re-established. This was due to the prosperity of local agriculture and artisanal industry.
The Pont du Diable, 'Devil's Bridge', is said to date back to 1202 and is reputed to be the scene of transactions between the people of Olargues and the devil. The old village is clustered around the belltower, which was formerly the main tower of the castle (Romanesque construction). The old shops have marble frontages and overhanging upper storeys. A museum of popular traditions and art is to be found in the stairs of the Commanderie.