Lisberg castle - one of the oldest castles in Franconia – was first mentioned in an historical document in 820. Being in possession of the Babenberger family – earls of the region – it has been used as a sanctuary for the people of the Region. Lisberg castle belonged to the Catholic prince bishops of Bamberg and the protestant Markgraves of Ansbach at the same time. Whenever necessary, the people of Lisberg simply changed sides and then evaded destruction, which was the fate of all other 31 castles in the Steigerwald area.
The oldest building of the castle is the romantic donjon and the dark awesome prison. The internal castle gate is also of Romanic style. The womens’ house is in Gothic style and the palace is in Renaissance style, built around 1600. The most beautiful rooms are the large kitchen and the great hall which was redesigned by Otto Philipp von Muenster in the year 1776. During the last centuries many noble families occupied the castle. The most important lords of the castle were the Freiherrn of Muenster. Mr. Hans Fischer is the current owner of the castle and has revived it.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.