A predecessor of current Oberhausen palace was a medieval castle about 200 meters away from today's location. This 12th or 13th century building has now completely disappeared. In 1443 the moated castle controlling an Emscher River passage fell to the von der Hoven clan based in the fiefdom of Kleve. In 1615, Overhus then passed on to become the domain of Conrad von Boenen. The castle was often plundered and seized due to its advantageous position at the important Emscher transition, as took place in the Eighty Years' War for example.
In the late 18th century Oberhausen was left to decay. In 1801 it was leased to Maximilian Friedrich Graf von Westerholt-Gysenberg and daughter-in-law Friederike Karoline von Bretzenheim, the illegitimate daughter of the Bavarian-Palatinate elector Karl Theodor. Because the neglected castle was deemed inappropriate for their social status, Maximilian Friedrich commissioned the architect August Reinking in 1803 to draw up plans for the renovation and extension of an approximately 200-metre-long inn and posting station to the north-west of the castle to become a neoclassical manor house. Schloss Oberhausen was constructed and fitted out according to these plans as a noble place of residency between approximately 1804 and 1820/1821. From 1808 the landscape architect and Dusseldorf court gardener Maximilian Friedrich Weyhe designed the manor house park and gardens.
In 1983 the collecting couple Peter and Irene Ludwig established the Ludwig Institut für Kunst der DDR (Ludwig Institute for Art of the German Democratic Republic) in Oberhausen with a permanent loan of 500 works dedicated to East German art, and brought with them works from Bernhard Heisig, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Willi Sitte and Werner Tübke. In 1996 Peter and Irene Ludwig initiated a new concept for the location in the form of the Ludwig Galerie Schloss Oberhausen.References:
Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.
Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.
In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.
After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.