Schadeck Castle is the most recent and smallest, but still most interesting of the four Neckarstein castles. It is perched on the high mountain like a bird's nest, which is why it is, in fact, called the 'Swallow's Nest'. After Ulrich II (1236-1257) inherited the 'front castle' from his father Ulrich I and another son joined the clergy, Bligger V, the third son, was forced to build a new castle. However, there was no more room on the mountain ridge where the other castles stood and thus he had to erect it downstream from the front castle on the slopes of the rocky massif that drop steeply to the Neckar River. This location must have caused enormous difficulties during the construction. To save the level ground for the castle complex and provide it with a frontal ditch as protection against the mountainside, a large chunk of the steep rock face had to be hewn out.
The castle itself stands on a rocky basement and appears to literally grow out of the mountain. Along the top of the high curtain wall, the most likely place to be attacked, runs a covered wall-walk with little towers on both sides. They command a panoramic view of the Neckar River valley and the impressive walled town of Dilsberg. Visitors to the castle today walk along a path from Neckarsteinach, which leads through the former frontal ditch. Earlier access was by way of a steep serpentine path from the Neckar. Today the ruin is the property of the state of Hesse and was recently restored at great cost. It can be viewed at any time free of charge and the curtain wall can be climbed.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.