The origins of the castle in Lipowiec, which for centuries belonged to the bishopric of Krakow, go back to the 13th century. It was to act as protection and provide safety for the many buildings on the trade route from Cracow to Silesia. The bishop of Krakow Jan Prandota acquired the Lipowiec stronghold in the year of 1243. Another important bishop, who became the owner of the building was Jan Muskat. Until the end of the 18th century, the castle and the surrounding goods were managed by various lords, representing the bishops of Cracow. In the days of Prandota, the fortress was enlarged and the construction of a brick castle was undertaken. During the reign of Muskat, Lipowiec castle became his claim in a defensive struggle for the throne of 'Wladyslaw the Short.' The bishop Jan Muskat had ambitions to significantly strengthen its power to pursue and strengthen towns and castles belonging to his diocese. However, after Muscat came into conflict with the future king, he was exiled from his diocese, and shelter in the Lipowiec castle.
During the reign of Casimir the Great the Castle in Lipowiec began to function as a border fortress, as well as continuing its defense functions along the mercantile route, which ran at the foot of the castle hill in Lipowiec. In the 14th and 15th century, the castle was rebuilt several times. By the 15th century, it was taking shape close to the present-day appearance of the castle, with a clearly dominant tower over the body of the building. Restlessness at the beginning the 15th century, which abounded in the Hussite wars, favored strengthening the defense of the castle. It was then surrounded by a deep moat with a drawbridge, while the buildings were surrounded by an extra defensive wall. Most developers involved in the construction of the castle during the medieval times in Lipowiec were bishops.
With the growing reformation of the church, the castle in Lipowiec was appointed a prison for priests. Prisoners were usually clerics, according to the church authorities who spread heresies, as well as those who committed common crimes and misdemeanors. The most famous prisoner was one from Italy 'Franciszek Stankar,' who already was in prison, when he began his work on the reform of the Church. The adaptation works started in the 15th century, turning the castle into a prison, gained momentum in the 16th century. In times of peace and political stability, there was no need for additional strengthening of the castle fortifications, therefor it was mainly focused on deepening the role of the prison. The work was commanded by two bishops: John Konarski, and Andrew Zebrzydowski.
The 17th century brought the downfall of the castle. This happened as a result of the damage that the stronghold in Lipowiec encountered during a great fire in the early 17th century and during the Swedish invasion in the middle of the century. Another reason for the loss of the splendor of this castle, was the changing trend in architecture, according to which the castle in Lipowiec was outdated and no longer meet the standards of living residence for bishops.
The castle remained in the state of oblivion until the first half of the 18th century, when bishop Felicjan Szaniawski undertook its reconstruction. In the meantime, the walls of the castle played host to King Jan III Sobieski, who stopped in Lipowiec in 1683, during an expedition to Vienna. At the beginning of the 19th century, the castle passed to the State, and then into private hands. Unfortunately, also during this time a great fire broke out within the castle, which did enormous damage not only inside but also to the roof of the castle. After this tragedy, the castle never returned to the state of its medieval glory.
Mainly ruins of the castle survived until the mid-twentieth century, when the decision was taken to protect this monument. The castle at this time under went partial reconstructions, that were aimed at protecting the already decayed architectural elements from further destruction. The castle is designed to be explored and is listed as a 'historic building in a permanent state of ruin.'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.