Borl Castle was first mentioned in written records in 1255 when the Magyar king Bela IV issued a bill to Friedrich, the Lord of Ptuj, regarding several castles, among which was Anchenstein or Borl.
The Anchensteins were the first known owners of the castle who lived there and had its coat of arms. They died out in 1323. The property passed on to the Lords of Ptuj who themselves died out in 1438.
The castle lies at an important point where, during the Middle Ages and even later, various borders crossed. There are a few strategic advantages to its position: a naturally formed rock prominence on which the castle is built; the river Drava with the traffic going on which had to be controlled as well as the passage across the river.
This position was also the cause of periodical fights for predominance.
Until 1620, the castle was the property of the Herbersteins, and from 1639 on, the Thurns were the owners. Most probably it was during that time that the casstle was adapted to the then living standards, and the arcade corridors were built.
Owners changed, and in 1922 the property was sold to a joint-stock company Borlin which was in the wine and beer business. Until World War II, the owner was Zora Weiss, but in 1941 the Germans established there a transit camp from where people were sent to exile until March 1943. After the war the castle was nationalised and remained uninhabited until 1948 when it was turned into a refugee camp.
Due to unsuitable conditions the camp in the castle did not last long. In 1952 it was renovated and it became a restaurant. The business grew and in 1972 the restaurant turned into a hotel. Unfortunately, reconstruction and renovation works were too often carried out in a reckless way, funds for its complete renovation were never sufficient, and therefore the castle slowly deteriorated. When in 1981 high waters swept away the bridge across the river Drava, the hotel was simply shut down.References:
Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.
Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.
In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.
After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.