Valdemars Castle was built by King Christian IV (1588–1648) between 1639 and 1644. It is designed by Hans van Stenwinkel. The king’s plans for his new castle were that the house should become the home for his son Valdemar Christian, who was born to him by Kirstine Munk. King Christian was renowned for his interest in building. On the island of Tåsinge, belonging to his mother in law Ellen Marsvin, the king decided to build a castle for his young son. However, Valdemar Christian never moved in. He was killed in battle in Poland in 1656.
In 1678 the naval hero, Admiral Niels Juel, was given title to the castle and the land on Tåsinge after his victory over Sweden in the Battle of Køge Bay in 1677. The estate was transferred to him as payment for the Swedish ships captured in the battle.
The present owner, Baron Iuel-Brockdorff, who is 11th generation of the Juel family, took over his childhood home from his father in 1971 and lives in the castle with his wife and family. Valdemars Slot has been open to the public since 1974. The castle is open from May to October and on public holidays. The castle features a large chapel, a toy museum, the Iuel-Brockdorff family's big game trophy collection and a local maritime museum. As the castle lies near the beach, it is popular for visitors to come by ferry on the Helge from Svendborg.References:
CeskĂ˝ Sternberk Castle is an early Gothic castle which was constructed, named and still owned by members of the same family. Today it is a residence that bears a long historical and architectural heritage and represents an attractive tourist destination open to the public. It is considered one of the best preserved Gothic Bohemian castles.
The castle was initially built in 1241 by Zdeslav of Divisov, later called Zdeslav Sternberg. The development of new firearms in the 14th century posed an unexpected threat to the defensibility of the castle. Its 13th century architects hadn't foreseen the danger of long-range firearms and its reinforcement became a necessity. During this period the CeskĂ˝ Sternberk castle's fortifications were improved through the construction in the north of a three-story tower, which was connected to the castle by a rampart. In 1467 the castle was seized by the royal armies of George of PodĂ©brady. Later, the ruined castle was regained by Sternberk's aristocracy, who, by the turn of the 15th to 16th century, had reconstructed the castle, renewed its defensive system and expanded it with the construction of a new cylindrical tower in the south and the Dungeon in the north. The castle managed to survive the looting of the rebels in 1627, during the Thirty Years' War. With the death of Jan VĂˇclav in 1712, the HolicĂ˝ branch of the Sternberg family died out and its ownership passed to other families, who in 1751 built the lower palace next to the surrounding wall.
The ownership of the castle was returned to the Sternberg family in 1841 when ZdenĂ©k of Sternberg from the Konopi?tĂ© branch of the family bought it. It remained in Sternberg's ownership until 1949 when it was nationalized by the Communist government of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. After the fall of Communism and the Velvet Revolution, in 1992, CeskĂ˝ Sternberk castle returned to JirĂ's son, the count ZdenĂ©k Sternberg, the current owner of the castle.
CeskĂ˝ Sternberk Castle was originally built as a Gothic castle. Eventually it underwent several periods of reconstructions and further fortification and the Gothic architectural features were in parts concealed by the new reconstructions. Especially the interiors of the castle were realized under the Baroque and Rococo styles. In 1760, the master Carlo Brentano performed the elaborate stuccoing and renderings of the halls' interiors. The castle offers a rare collection of 545 copper engravings, depicting the entire history of the Thirty Years' War. Also, historical weapons and hunting trophies are exhibited within the castle's halls.