The original Schaloen castle was built in 1200 as a defensive fortress commissioned by the family Van Hulsberg. The remains can still be seen in the vaults of the present castle. Schaloen was an almost square building with on each corner two massive buttresses and guerite tower in the hood. The outbuildings were in the original castle on the right side of the main building.
Nevertheless the castle almost completely burnt down by war in 1575. In the year 1656 the reconstruction of the castle was completed, which can still be seen on the date which is formed by the wall anchors into the left when completed construction. In 1718 the magnificent gatehouse and current access bridge were erected, and in 1721 came to a gardener's and a carpenter's house ready and also a covered parking for coaches.
At the end of the 19th century, Count d' Villers - Masbourg Eclaye, through his marriage became a member of the family Van Hulsberg, commissioned architect PHJ Cuypers to give the castle a new view. In 1894, the renovation was completed. Until 1934, the Van Hulsberg inhabited the castle. In the Second World War Schaloen also proved attractive for the Germans. Result was that the castle was completely looted and was left uninhabitable. In 1968 the castle was sold out of lack of money.
After years of further abuse and looting the current owners, family Bot, bought in 1985 the castle and related buildings and restored them as a hotel.References:
Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.
Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.
In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.
After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.