The Wegelnburg is a ruined castle near Schönau in the Palatinate Forest. It was founded by the Hohenstaufens in the 12th or 13th century. It had to protect the border of the Hohenstaufens’ territory. In 1272, the castle was destroyed because the castellan had committed a breach of the peace. The von Wegelnburg family rebuilt the castle.
In 1330 the Wegelnburg was pawned to the Palatinate and in 1417 it was given to the Duchy of Zweibrücken through barter. Because of the Treaty of Nijmegen the castle was destroyed by French troops under General Monclar in 1679. Owned by the Palatinate and then by Bavaria, the Wegelnburg was given to Rhineland-Palatinate and has been administered by its Castles Administration since 1963. During the restoration work from 1979 until 1982 the remains of the castle were saved and large amounts of rubble were removed.
Wegelnburg Castle was divided into three wards: a lower, middle and upper bailey, the lower bailey only being established on the western side. The internal gateway has been preserved and restored. Rock staircases, hewn into the sandstone rock, enable access to the upper ward. Niches, various timber holes, another stair and some renewed arches can be seen in the lower and middle wards.
The foundation walls on the sandstone rock are remarkable because of the smooth transition of the wall and the rock. Together with the rock caves they belong to the upper and middle bailey.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.