The history of the Eriksholm estate dates back to 1400 but today's house was built in 1788. It was designed by Caspar Frederik Harsdorff, the leading Danish architect of the time. In the 1400s it was owned by Peder Jensen and known as Vinderup. It was crown land from 1536 to 1556 and again from 1573 to 1585. In the year 1600 Eriksholm was acquired by Erik Madsen Vasspyd who constructed a new main building and named it Eriksholm.
In 1682 the estate was acquired by Admiral Niels Juel in exchange for Sæbygaard. He owned it until his death in 1697 and after that it remained in the possession of his descendants until 1752 when it was sold to Supreme Court justice Hans Diderik de Brinck-Seidelin. His son, who was also named Hans Diderik de Brinck-Seidelin and inherited Eriksholm in 1778, commissioned the architect Caspar Frederik Harsdorff to design a new main building which was completed in 1788.
Brinck-Seidelin was hit by the financially difficult times for the large land owners and Eriksholm was in 1824 sold on public auction to Prime Minister Frederik Julius Falkenskiold Kaas (1758 –1827). In 1878, Frederik Ahlefeldt-Laurvig (1817–1889) bought Eriksholm and immediately passed it on to his son, later Minister of Foreign Affairs William Ahlefeldt-Laurvig. The estate has been in the possession of the Ahlefeldt-Laurvig family ever since.
Designed in the Neoclassical style, Eriksholm is built in white-washed brick and consists of three wings under a black-glazed tile roof. The semicircular buildings which connect the main wings to the lower and short lateral wings are typical of the contemporary English Palladianism. The window frames and portals are made of sandstone from Bornholm.
The estate covers 335 hectars of farmland and 331 hectars of forest (1995). The main building is rented out for weddings, meetings and other events.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.