Sommeregg is a medieval castle near Seeboden situated in the foothills of the Nock Mountains. The castle was probably erected in the 12th century. The Lords of Sommeregg then served as ministeriales of Count Otto II of Ortenburg, who ruled over extended estates in Upper Carinthia, rivalling with the House of Gorizia and the Salzburg archbishops.
In the 14th century, the Lords of Sommeregg achieved the knightly status of Ortenburg burgraves and castellans with comprehensive administrative and military responsibilities in the lordship of the manor. When the Counts of Ortenburg became extinct in 1418, their possessions passed to the Counts of Celje in Carniola, who left the administration of the remote Upper Carinthian estates to local stadtholders. In 1442 the Styrian noble Andreas von Graben by marriage inherited the Sommeregg burgraviate. His rights were acknowledged by Count Frederick II of Celje and the castle became a residence of the House of Graben.
The dynasty maintained the title of Sommeregg burgraves, even when the last Celje count Ulrich II was murdered in 1456. After a long dispute with Count John II of Gorizia, the former Ortenburg possessions fell to the Habsburg emperor Frederick III, who confirmed the feudal rights of the Graben family. Andreas von Graben was succeeded by his son Virgil in 1463, however, in 1487 the castle was occupied and devastated by Hungarian forces under King Matthias Corvinus on his campaign against the Austrian Habsburgs. Afterwards Virgil von Graben had the fortress rebuilt in its current appearance.
Through Virgil's niece and heiress Rosina (d. 1534), Sommeregg passed to the Bavarian Lords of Rain. In 1550 it was purchased by the Carinthian noble Christoph Khevenhüller, whose descendants held the castle until 1628. The Sommeregg manor was dissolved upon the Revolution of 1848.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.