The Čachtice castle ruins stands on a hill featuring rare plants, and has been declared a national nature reserve for this reason. The castle was a residence and later the prison of the Countess Elizabeth Báthory, who is alleged to have been the world's most prolific female serial killer.
Čachtice was built in the mid-13th century by Kazimir from the Hont-Pázmány gens as a sentry on the road to Moravia. Later, it belonged to Máté Csák, the Stibor family, and then to the famous Bloody Lady Elizabeth Báthory. Čachtice, its surrounding lands and villages, was a wedding gift from the Nádasdy family upon Elizabeth's marriage to Ferenc Nádasdy in 1575.
Originally, Čachtice was a Romanesque castle with an interesting horseshoe shaped residence tower. It was turned into a Gothic castle later and its size was increased in the 15th and 16th centuries. A Renaissance renovation followed in the 17th century. Finally, in 1708 the castle was captured and plundered by the rebels of Ferenc II Rákoci (Francis II Rákóczi). It has been in decay since.References:
Ängsö Castle was first named as "Engsev" in a royal charter by king Canute I of Sweden (r. 1167-1196), in which he stated that he had inherited the property after his father Eric IX of Sweden. Until 1272, it was owned by the Riseberga Abbey, and then taken over by Gregers Birgersson.
From 1475 until 1710, it was owned by the Sparre family. The current castle was built as a fortress by riksråd Bengt Fadersson Sparre in the 1480s. In 1522, Ängsö Castle was taken after a siege by king Gustav Vasa, since its owner, Fadersson's son Knut Bengtsson, sided with Christian II of Denmark. However, in 1538 it was given by the king to Bengtsson's daughter Hillevi Knutsdotter, who was married to Arvid Trolle.
In 1710, the castle was taken over by Carl Piper and Christina Piper. Ängsö Castle was owned by the Piper family from 1710 until 1971, and is now owned by the Westmanna foundation. The castle building itself was made into a museum in 1959 and was made a listed building in 1965. It is currently opened to visitors during the summers.
The castle is a cubical building in four stores made by stone and bricks. The lower parts is preserved from the middle ages. It was redecorated and expanded in the 1630s. The 4th storey as well as the roof is from the expansion of Carl Hårleman from 1740-41. It gained its current appearance in the 1740s.