The ducal Widow's Palace in Plön was the widow's seat of the Duchess Dorothea Christina (Dorothea Christine). During its history the building has also served as an orphanage and was modified several times. Today it houses Plön's district museum.
The Widow's Palace was originally a stately home dating to the Middle Ages, which was mentioned for the first time around 1385, and was a fief of nearby Plön Castle. The original building was renovated around 1540 and was used for various purposes, during the rule of the dukes of Plön, including acting as an orphanage from 1685. From 1756 it was extended to become the widow's seat for Dorothea Christina, the mother of Duke Frederick Charles. In the 19th century the court apothecary was moved to the palace. Since the 20th century the building has housed the district museum for the district of Plön.
The barrel-vaulted basement of the palace dates to 1540, after when the building was converted and extended several times. Other alterations to the structure were made in 1639 and 1685, but it was given its present baroque style largely around 1756, although the front was redesigned around 1842 in the classicist style. The palace is a two-storey building under a high mansard roof. It has nine wings and a plastered façade facing the town; its other elevations are in brick. The interior character is that of the 19th century transformation; on the upper floor, the rococo ballroom of 1756, which faces the garden, has been preserved.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".