Kieselstein Castle is a 13th-century castle in the city of Kranj. The castle stands at what was once a defensible point, guarding the city pier and crossing over the river Sava, and was predated on the site by a round 11th-century keep. The current structure was built in 1256 by the counts of Ortenburg, by an arrangement with the lord of Kranj, duke Ulrik III Spanheim. Until 1420, the tower was managed by their ministeriales or vassals, the knights von Chreinburch; in that year, it passed to count Herman of Celje. During the period of Turkish incursions, the tower was incorporated into the city walls. After the extinction of the Counts of Celje in 1456, it was inherited by the Habsburgs, who sold it in the mid 16th century to baron Janž Khiessl. Khiessl successfully petitioned emperor Ferdinand I for the right to rename the castle after himself, and also expanded the tower into an L-shaped castle, giving it its present appearance.
The Khiessls soon sold the castle to Franz the noble Moscon; later owners included the Ravbar, Apfaltrer, Auersperg and finally Natalis Pagliaruzzi noble families. In 1913 the castle was purchased by the state. Between the world wars, it housed government offices; after World War II it was (somewhat redundantly) nationalized. In 1952, the building was renovated according to plans drawn up by the architect Jože Plečnik.
Today the renovated building houses the Kranj Municipal Agency for the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage, as well as the Upper Carniola Museum.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.