The Niepolomice Royal Castle is a Gothic castle from the mid-14th century and rebuilt in the late Renaissance style.
The Niepolomice Castle was built by order of King Casimir III the Great on the slope of the Vistula valley, to serve as a retreat during the hunting expeditions to the nearby Niepolomice Forest. The castle consisted of three towers, buildings in the southern and eastern wing, and curtain walls around the courtyard. Sigismund I the Old rebuilt the structure, giving it the form of a quadrangle with an internal courtyard. Queen Bona Sforza's gardens were located on the southern flank.
In 1550 the great fire destroyed the east and north wings. The reconstruction works were conducted in 1551-1568 under the supervision of Tomasz Grzymala and a sculptor Santi Gucci. Since the end of the 16th century the castle passed into the hands of noble families of Curylo, Branicki and Lubomirski. At that time, only the small changes were made in the castle's interiors (fireplaces, ceilings). The construction of an arcade courtyard began in 1635 and was completed in 1637.
The Swedish-Brandenburgian invasion in 1655 brought an end to the magnificence of the building. The castle was transformed into a food store during the occupation. In the 18th century it was acquired by King Augustus II the Strong and Augustus III. The reconstruction of the former royal residence began in 1991, when it became the property of Niepolomice Municipality.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.