Either Lütold V von Regensberg or his son Ulrich established the fortified town of (Neu)-Regensberg around 1250. Ulrich died around 1280, and his son Lütold VIII had to sell Regensberg to Habsburg-Austria in 1302. The Habsburgs mortgaged the castle and town several times, and in 1407 the so-called Herrschaft Regensberg was acquired by the city of Zürich. From 1417 the castle became the seat of the bailiff of the bailiwick of Regensberg. On 6 June 1443 the council of Zürich forced their troops and the citizens to defend the fortified town, three days later the castle was conquered during the Old Zürich War by Zürich's contrahents, but not destroyed, and some months later manned again by Zürich troops.
On 9 September 1540 the town, but not the castle, was destroyed by fire, because it was separated from the Oberstadt by a ditch. The upper castle was rebuilt in the following year. From 1689 the castle and the upper town were fortified according to then modern standards. On 13 March 1798 the French revolutionary troops forced the council of the city republic of Zürich to abdicate, and the country bailiwicks were dissolved. After the end of the short-lived Helvetic Republic, Regensberg became the district capital, and the castle was the seat of the cantonal authorities, and in the main building there was the county jail until 1863.
Regensberg was designed as a fortified castle town and built by then modern contemporary criteria. The so-called upper castle (Oberburg) comprises a rectangular plaza as main square which is surrounded two rows of houses, and into the limestone a 57 m (187 ft) deep water well was carved. The lower castle (Unterburg) or lower town (Unterstadt) was probably built in the 14th century nestled at the castle's hill outside of the town wall. Therefore, it was not involved in the modernization of the upper castle in 1689.
Nowadays, the castle belongs to the Regensberg Castle Foundation. The round tower is still open to the public and offers a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding region. In addition, information panels inside the tower relate the history of the small country town of Regensberg.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.