The Spyker (Spycker) Castle and estate is the oldest profane structure on the Baltic Sea island of Rügen. Spycker was first recorded in 1318. It belonged then to the Stralsund patrician family von Külpens. In 1344 a daughter from the House of von Külpen married the Jasmunds. As a result the Spyker branch of the von Jasmunds was founded which died without issue in 1648.
As a result of the Thirty Years' War, Pomerania, and hence Rügen, fell to Sweden under the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. As a reward for his wartime services, Queen Christine of Sweden gave the now empty seat of Spycker in 1649 to the Swedish field marshal and later governor-general of Swedish Pomerania, Carl Gustav Wrangel. The castle, originally furnished with a defensive moat, was remodelled after 1650 into its present appearance as a Renaissance schloss and painted in Swedish Falu red, which was atypical of Rügen. Fully sculptured stucco ceilings, unique in the Baltic region, date to around 1652.
After the death of Carl Gustav Wrangel in 1676, the property passed to his daughter Eleanora-Sophia, wife of the Lord of Putbus. Eleanora-Sophia died in 1687, and the property went to the Swedish family of Brahe, with whom her older sister was connected by marriage. After its occupation by the Napoleonic troops in 1806/07 Spycker temporarily became the seat of the French governor of Rügen. In 1815, Rügen, which had hitherto been Swedish, was handed over to Prussia. Magnus Fredrik Brahe sold Spycker in 1817 and it came into the possession of Prince Wilhelm Malte I of Putbus.
Until the land reform in the Soviet Occupation Zone in 1945, the estate remained in the possession of the von Putbus family. In subsequent years, the castle was left to decay. From the 1960s until 1989, the East German trade union federation, FDGB, used the castle as a holiday home. Since 1990, the castle has been used as a hotel and, in 1995, it was restored in line with its historical appearance. The hotel has 32 guest rooms.
In March 2006, the castle and its 67,000-square-foot estate was purchased at a forced sale by the present owner Dominik von Boettinger. Today Spyker Castle is a hotel and restaurant.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.