From the construction to its surrender for the Turks, Gyula Fortress can be linked significantly with the royal court either by relation right or by the way that the King himself or a member of royal family was the proprietor of the big manor. All this is worth of emphasizing since Buda and Vajdahunyad are the nearest two castles unequivocally having this kind of royal position.
The first factual mention of the fortress building is from 1445, although János Maróti began with its construction already in 1405. His life passed in uninterrupted fighting against the Turks, therefore the leader and terminator of the works in Gyula could be his son, László Maróti. In 1476, the fortress and the huge manor reverted to the crown. In 1482 King Matthias gave the territory to his son, János Corvinus, who made his mark on the fortress – in addition to other building operations – by erecting the present Corvin-bastion. From strategic point of view, the fortress advanced in fact after the Mohács Disaster. The adherents of János Szapolyai succeeded to seize it, and then for a short while it was in the hands of noblemen of Transylvanian interestedness. However, in 1552 it got again into king’s ownership in consequence of to an exchange. In the meanwhile, the Ottomans engaged in the destruction of the surroundings. Then they built palisades not far off from the fortress herewith hindering the food supply for the defenders. In summer of 1566, Pertaf pasha, nephew of Suleiman II (Suleiman the Magnificent) finally laid siege to the fortress. After a nine-week siege, they subscribed the fortress’ capitulation agreement, thus the town fell into the Turks’ hands. With the onset of a relative peace, the life of the city began to develop slowly, and then in 1695 the Christian troops reoccupied the territory. Thereafter the estate’s ancillary units were placed in the castle.
The renovation of the fortress was started in the beginning of the 1960s. The Castle Theatre has operated within the walls since 1960, and the old permanent exhibition was opened also at this time. Following a long-standing renovation, the new Renaissance Castle Museum was finished in 2005, in which the visitors can go through the history of six centuries in 24 exhibition rooms.
Gyula Fortress being the only flatland, Gothic brick-masonry fortress of Central-Europe remained intact stands at the persons’ service showing an interest, with 24 exhibition rooms.
Within the restored castle, downstairs there are the dungeon (open to the public out of Castle Theatre’s season), the chapel, the tavern and the ancillary rooms such as a dispensary, a bake-house, a smithy and a pottery. Upstairs there are various suits (of the lord and of the lady), the halberdier hall, the Sanjak bey’s reception room, the armoury and the knights’ hall.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".