Schloss Klessheim is a Baroque palace designed and constructed by Austrian architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach for Prince-Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun in 1700. It became the summer residence of the Archbishops of Salzburg.
Influenced by the north Italian Mannerist style, Fischer von Erlach worked on the palace, which was called Lustschloss Favorita, between 1700 and 1709. Construction was interrupted following the archbishop's death in 1709. His successor, Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach cancelled work in favor of Schloss Mirabell. Schloss Klessheim was completed in 1732 under Archbishop Count Leopold Anton von Firmian, who curtailed the original plans significantly.
The completed palace contained a ceremonial hall with an extended terrace and ramp leading to the gardens, an entrance with an impressive Triton Fountain, a loggia and an entrance hall and staircase. The interior stucco work was done by Paolo d'Allio and Diego Francesco Carlone, according to plans by Fischer von Erlach.
In the late 18th century, an English landscape park was added under the rule of Archbishop Count Hieronymus von Colloredo. After Salzburg's secularisation in 1803, Klessheim Palace fell to the Austrian House of Habsburg-Lorraine. In 1866 it became the permanent residence of Archduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria (1842–1919), a younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I. The archduke had the palace extended according to plans designed by Heinrich von Ferstel and died here in 1919. His Habsburg heirs sold the palace to the Austrian state of Salzburg.
After the Austrian Anschluss in 1938, Adolf Hitler, when staying at his nearby Berghof residence, used Schloss Klessheim for conferences and to host official guests like Benito Mussolini, Miklós Horthy, Ion Antonescu and Jozef Tiso. While Horthy stayed at Klessheim, Hitler on 19 March 1944 secretly gave orders for Operation Margarethe to occupy Hungary and enforce the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. On 7 July 1944, on the occasion of a weapons exhibition, an attempt by several Wehrmacht officers around von Stauffenberg to kill Hitler failed, when conspirator Helmuth Stieff did not trigger the bomb. Until October 1944, the palace remained outside the reach of Allied bombers. In May 1945 it was seized by the American military administration. Reichsadler statues made of lime stone, that were attached to the entrance portals, were a reminder of the Nazi era.
After the war, Schloss Klessheim was restored to the State of Salzburg. During the Cold War, the neutral Austrian government used it to hold conferences and to host international guests, among them US President Richard Nixon, who on his way to Moscow met there with Chancellor Bruno Kreisky on 20 May 1972. Since 1993 it has been the home of the Salzburg casino, which used to be situated on the Mönchsberg.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.