Uppsala Castle is a 16th century royal castle in the historical city of Uppsala. Throughout much of its early history, the castle played a major role in the history of Sweden. It was built during the time Sweden was on its way to become a great power in Europe.
King Gustav Vasa began construction of Uppsala Castle in 1549. Kings Erik XIV, John III and Charles IX all remodeled and expanded the citadel into a representative renaissance palace. During Erik XIV's reign, the castle was the site of the Sture Murders, where several famous noblemen (among them three members of the influential Sture family) were killed. In 1630, King Gustavus II Adolphus announced the decision that Sweden should participate in the Thirty Years' War. It was in the castle that the Swedish government announced the abdication of Queen Kristina in 1654.
Uppsala Castle was seriously damaged by fire in 1702, being reduced essentially to a ruin. Reconstruction took many years and was indeed hampered by the remains of the castle being used as a quarry for stone to be used in building Stockholm Palace.
Uppsala Castle was the administrative center of Uppland and the site of the Hall of State (Rikssalen) for many years. Uppsala Castle is the residence of the County Governor of Uppsala County. Dag Hammarskjöld, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, spent his childhood days in the castle when his father, Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, was governor of Uppsala County. Today, the castle is also the site of the Uppsala Art Museum.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.