Pajštún Castle was built in 13th century as part of a regional castle system aimed at defending the north-western border of the Kingdom of Hungary. One of the first known records mentioning the castle comes from 1314 in connection to its owner, Otto from Telesprun; many sources often, mistakenly, date the first mention of the castle to 1273. In 1390, Sigismund, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary at the time, gifted the castle to the Grafs of the nearby Svätý Jur and Pezinok.
Since 1592, the castle belonged to the influential Pálffy family. However, its condition has been progressively worsening, and with the looming Turkish danger at the time, the castle has undergone major repairs around 1645, led by an Italian engineer Filiberto Luchese, which fundamentally transformed the original 13th century core of the castle. Nevertheless, the owners of the castle soon started preferring other locations of greater convenience, and Pajštún's significance - and condition - began to decline. This was aggravated by a large fire in the mid-18th century which destroyed a large part of the castle. With its importance diminished, the repairs were merely provisional. The final blow, however, came in 1810, when Napoleon's army destroyed the castle with an explosion. The destruction was deemed unnecessary, as the castle was already abandoned and posed no military threat. The last owner of the castle, Ľudovít Károlyi abandoned his properties in 1945, the ruins of the Pajštún Castle along with other nearby mansions and possessions among them.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.