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:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.