Holašovice is an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a traditional central European village. It has a large number of outstanding 18th- and 19th-century vernacular buildings in a style known as South Bohemian folk Baroque, and preserves a ground plan dating from the Middle Ages. Holašovice was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
Holašovice is first mentioned in 1263. In 1292, King Wenceslaus II gave the village and several others to the Cistercian monastery of Vyšší Brod. It remained the property of the monastery until 1848.
Between 1520 and 1525, Holašovice was nearly wiped out by the bubonic plague. Only two of its inhabitants survived. A column erected over the plague grave at the north end of the village commemorates this event. The monastery gradually repopulated the village with settlers from Bavaria and Austria. By 1530, the population had risen to 17, according to the monastery's records, and it had become a mainly German-speaking enclave within the Czech language area. By 1900, there were 163 inhabitants of German ethnic origin and 1 of Czech ethnic origin.
After the displacement of German residents at the end of the Second World War, many farms in the village were deserted and fell into disrepair. Holašovice became a desolate and abandoned place under the Czech post-war Communist regime. From 1990, the village was lavishly restored and inhabited once more. It now has a population of around 140.
Holašovice consists of 23 brick farmyards containing 120 buildings, each with their gable end facing a central broad village green, with a fish pond and chapel. The buildings date from the 18th to 20th century, with most of them built in the second half of the 19th century. They are constructed in the South Bohemian Folk Baroque style. The chapel of St. John of Nepomuk in the city centre was built in 1755.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.