According the tradition the first castle in Bricquebec was built by Anslec with Scandinavian origin, who was related to the Duke of Normandy, William Longsword. Later Bricquebec Castle was owned by Robert I Bertran, who accompanied William the Conqueror in the conquest of England in 1066. His son, Robert II Bertran, is believed to have taken part in the taking of Jerusalem during the First Crusade in 1096. After the annexation of Normandy by the King of France, Philippe II Auguste, in 1204, the Bertrans did homage to him, for fifteen noble fiefs held from their barony of Bricquebec.
Myth has it that in 1270 the Knights Templar, who already had numerous other possessions in the area, founded a commandery in the castle, based on the architectural layout of the castle. The 13th century, 22 meters high, 11-sided keep stands on a 17 meters high motte and its outer walls resemble the octagonal geometry which was characteristic of the Order.
After the death of the last of the Bertrans, Bricquebec Castle went to the Paisnel family through marriage. During the 14th century the plague and famines ravaged the Cotentin peninsula and it was also the scene of multiple skirmishes between French, English and Navarrian troops. In 1418 the castle was occupied by the troops of King Henry V of England. Given to William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, then sold by him to captain Bertin Entwistle, the castle stayed under English rule until 1450. In 1452 Louis d'Estouteville took possession of the castle.
In the 16th century the barons of Bricquebec abandoned the castle in favor of their newer manors. In 1857 the castle was visited by Queen Victoria of England and in 1957 by Field Marshall Montgoméry.
At present there is a hotel inside the castle which has its website at Hostellerie du Château Bricquebec. The keep, amongst other parts of the castle, can be visited during summer months.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.