Lębork Castle history begins from the first half of the 14th century. It was built and the town founded by Teutonic Knights. The stronghold was built on a square-like plan, with a residential building adjacent to a section from the stronghold’s southern part to the defensive wall, along the entire side of the square. The other two corners were fitted with quadrangular towers. One peculiarity of the Castle design was the division of the courtyard by a watercourse, over which a mill and a brewery were erected, also in the courtyard. The Castle complex also included utility buildings, such as a stable and a granary in the Castle grounds.
Until the end of the 15th century, the Lębork castle remained in Teutonic hands, from time to time conquered and filled with the Polish King’s army. Eventually, it became a fief to the Pomeranian Prince Eric II. Under the rule of the Pomeranian dynasty, the Lębork Castle underwent a significant redevelopment, according to the renaissance spirit. New buildings were erected in its territory, others were repurposed. Eric’s heirs ruled the castle and the town with short intervals until the 17th century, when, with the passing of the family, the fief was returned back under the rule of the Polish King. Since then, a Polish communal head has resided in the Castle. Soon after, during the war with Sweden, better known as “the Swedish Deluge”, the stronghold was severely damaged.
Since the mid-17th century, again as a fief, both the castle and the town fell into the hands of the Brandenburg Hohenzollerns. As a result of the partitions of Poland, Lębork found itself within the Prussian Borders. The 19th century and the interwar period brought significant changes to the shape of the Castle. First, defensive walls were deconstructed, and then the castle complex was adapted as a court. As a result, the original shape of the castle was almost entirely lost. A trained eye would probably notice some relics of the original, gothic structure; however, it is not an easy task. What remains to this day of the Lębork Castle functions as a district court headquarters. While in Lębork, it is worth taking a look at the building and try to find traces of the Castle’s past.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.