Documented for the first time in the 13th century the Tratzberg castle was used as former border stronghold against the Bavarians and as Emperor Maximilian’s I hunting lodge. In the late 15th century the former fortress was destroyed by fire. The Emperor did not rebuild Tratzberg but exchanged the ruin for a castle of the Taenzels, wealthy owners of a silver mine. They had built the first late Gothic part of today’s Castle Tratzberg in 1500, in a particularly magnificent way, with artful ornaments made of marble, wood and iron. In 1554, Georg Knight of Ilsung, a wealthy merchant from Augsburg, acquired the castle, expanded and changed Tratzberg according to the spirit of the Renaissance age. Proof of those changes is the splendidly painted courtyard and exquisite Renaissance parlours. In 1590 Tratzberg came into the possession of the Fuggers, a well-known and wealthy family of merchants, who expanded the castle even further. Most of the now conserved inventory is from this time.
After several changes of owners there was a time when Tratzberg was uninhabited for 150 years. When Franz Count Enzenberg married Ottilie Countess Tannenberg in 1847, the rather neglected castle came into the possession of the Enzenberg family, and it has stayed their homestead since then. Thanks to the family’s dedication and efforts the 6800 sqm castle with its 5000 sqm shingle roof became a gem of a 16th century Tyrolean castle again. It is now one of the most important cultural monuments of the country and open to the public.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.