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:
Perched atop its cliff where the Ploučnice meets the Elbe, Děčín Castle is one of the oldest and largest landmarks in northern Bohemia. In the past several hundred years it has served as a point of control for the Bohemian princes, a military fortress, and noble estate.
The forerunner of the Děčín Castle was a wooden fortress built towards the end of the 10th century by the Bohemian princes. The first written record of the province dates from 993 A.D. and of the fortress itself from 1128. In the thirteenth century it was rebuilt in stone as a royal castle that, under unknown circumstances, fell into the hands of the powerful Wartenberg dynasty around 1305.
Numerous later renovations has erased all but fragments of the original medieval semblance of the castle. A significant change to the castle came in the second half of the 16th century when it was held by the Saxon Knights of Bünau, who gradually rebuilt the lower castle into a Renaissance palace with a grand ceremonial hall. The current semblance of the castle is the work of the Thun-Hohensteins, who held the Děčín lands from 1628 to 1932. The Thuns originally came from southern Tyrol and gradually worked their way to the upper echelons of Hapsburg society where they regularly filled important political and church appointments.
The Thuns reworked the castle twice. The first reconstruction, in the Baroque style, was undertaken by Maximilian von Thun, Imperial envoy and diplomat, and was meant to enhance the ceremonial aspects of the property. A central element of the project was a grand access road, the Long Drive, ending in the upper gate of the completely rebuilt entry wing. Along the drive stretched an ornamental garden (today known as the Rose Garden) and a riding yard. Maximilian’s brother Johann Ernst von Thun was responsible for the erection of the Church of the Ascension of the Holy Cross in the town below.
The second and final reconstruction of the castle was undertaken in 1786–1803. The Gothic and Renaissance palaces were torn down, all structures were leveled to the same height and gave them a unified facade. On the riverfront the castle's new dominant feature arose, a slender clock tower. Thus the castle took on the Baroque-Classical style we see today.
In the course of the 19th century, the castle became an important cultural and political center. In the 20th century the castle was used as a military garrison for German and Soviet troops after being handed to the Czechoslovak state in 1932. In 1991 the castle reverted to the ownership of the city of Děčín and the gradual renovation of the devastated structure began.
The eastern wing serves as a branch of the Děčín Regional Museum. The northern wing is occupied by the State District Archives. The staterooms of the western wing welcome individual and group tours, weddings, concerts, exhibits, and other cultural events. The castle courtyard comes to life throughout the year with events ranging from the Historic May Fair to the Wine Festival in September.