Radyně Castle, like the similarly conceived Kasperk, represents the height of the 14th-century trend towards the merging of castle buildings.
When the castle of Starý Plzenec fell into disrepair in the first half of the 13th century, it was necessary to build a new centre of royal power for the administration of the region of Plzeň. Construction apparently began in 1353, during the rule of Charles IV, and was completed in 1361. The original name of Karlskrone (Charles' Crown) did not become commonly used in the district, and the castle gradually took the name of the hill on which it was built - Radyně.
The burgraves who governed the region were based in Radyně, and by the end of the 15th century it had been acquired by the Šternberks (1496–1561), who settled at the more comfortable castle at Bechyně. Its counterpart at Radyně, which was accessible only with difficulty, started to fall into disrepair, and its fate was sealed in the first quarter of the 16th century when it was burned down. As early as 1558, record indicated that it was abandoned, and not even the affluent Černín of the Crudenice family, owners of the castle as well as the surrounding district in the 18th century, invested in repair work. The mysterious abandoned ruin had to wait until the coming of the Romantic movement in the 19th century for more interest to be shown in it. Minor repairs and alterations were however destroyed by fire in 1886.
In recent years, the castle has been progressively renovated, and a permanent exhibition devoted to its history can now be seen. The tower is open to visitors of the castle, and its observation point affords wonderful views.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.