Ruzhany Palace is a ruined palace which was between the 16th and 19th centuries the main seat of the senior line of the Sapieha noble family. Ruzhany began its life in the late 16th century as the site of Lew Sapieha's castle, the palace being completed in 1602. The Sapieha residence was destroyed in the course of the internecine strife in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania when it was attacked by Michał Serwacy Wiśniowiecki's forces in 1700.
Ruzhany Palace was rebuilt as a grand Neoclassical residence in the 1770s by Aleksander Michał Sapieha, employing the services of the architect Jan Samuel Becker of Saxony, who set the palace in an English park landscape. Aside from the palace, there was a theatre (1784–88), an orangery and several other outbuildings. Becker also designed the local church (rebuilt in the 1850s).
By the time of King Stanisław II's visit in 1784, work on the palace had been suspended. The Sapieha estates were nationalised in the aftermath of the November Uprising (1831). Three years later, the palace compound was sold to be used as a textile mill and weaving factory.
In 1914 the palace was accidentally set on fire by factory workers. The First World War and subsequent financial hardships prevented the building's restoration until 1930, however the partially restored palace became a ruin again within fifteen years, a casualty of the Second World War. The ornate palace gate survives and has recently been restored.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.