The Bobolice Castle was built by King Casimir III the Great in the middle of the 14th century, probably in place of an earlier wooden structure. The castle was a part of the defence system of royal strongholds protecting the western border of Poland on the side of Silesia. In 1370, immediately after becoming King of Poland, Louis I the Great granted the castle to Wladyslaw Opolczyk, Duke of Opole, as a prize for his support of the king’s dynastic plans. Nine years later Opolczyk leased the castle to Andrzej Schoen, a Hungarian from Barbalas; the new owner manned it with Germans and Czechs, who robbed local inhabitants and conspired with the Teutonic Order. Dissatisfied with their behaviour, the Polish king W³adys³aw Jagie³³o invaded Bobolice in 1396 and took over the castle with adjacent estates. From that time on, the stronghold was owned by a number of families.
The beginning of the decline of the castle dates back to 1587, when it was heavily devastated during the invasion of Maximilian III, Archduke of Austria, a rival of Sigismund III Vasa to the Polish throne. The castle was reconstructed by the then owners, the Krezowie family, but in 1657, during the Deluge, it was plundered and totally ruined by Swedish troops. The condition of the stronghold was so bad that when King John III Sobieski arrived here in 1683, he had to spend the night in a tent.
In the 19th century a huge treasure was found in stronghold cellars. It is supposed that its part may be stored in the legendary tunnel between Bobolice and Mirów. In 1882, after parcelling out the land, the already deserted walls were acquired by the peasant family of Bary³ów. Now the castle belongs to the Lasecki family, who decided to rebuild it in 1999.
The castle is situated on a steep rocky hill (360 m above sea level). Up till now, only the upper part of the stronghold (the residential building with at least two storeys and remnants of the cylindrical wall tower) has survived. The castle was accessible through a drawbridge over the dry moat, and the entire construction was surrounded by walls with battlements, made of local white limestone. Currently reconstruction works are under way in order to restore the entrance gate and the circumferential wall around the castle grounds.References:
Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.
In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.
During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.
In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.
The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.