Točník Castle was built during the reign of Wenceslaus IV at the end of the 14th century above the already existing castle Žebrák as his private residence. The two castles, Točník and Žebrák, make up a pictoresque 'couple,' standing almost right next to each other.
The area where the castle stands was inhabited by people two thousand years ago, but it was not until the 14th century when the Bohemian and German king Wenceslaus IV decided to build his residence there. The castle Točník was built after the large fire in the castle Žebrák, which showed how unsafe it was for the king and how its position was not strategic.
The castle was built on a three-part ground plan. Behind the defensive wall is a massive moat with a bridge, which was originally protected by a gate tower. The most important building, situated in the residential section on the L-shaped ground plan, is the Royal Palace with its side wing. The second floor of the palace was taken up with a ceremonial hall, while other floors were residential.
During the Hussite wars, when Václav's brother Sigismund was in power, the castle was besieged by the Hussite army for three days, until it gave up and burnt down the towns Točník and Hořovice instead. The castle was then mortgaged and handed over from one person to another, but it never found an owner that would keep it for a longer time and so it was gradually reduced to ruins.
Jan of Watemberg initiated the first stage of the Renaissance alterations, which were continued by the Lobkowicz family. In 1594, the castle came once again to the royal property and was administrated by the Bohemian (Czech) Royal Chamber. The Thirty Years' War contributed greatly to the castle's deterioration. In 1923, the castle was sold to the Czech Association of Tourists for 2000 Czechoslovak crowns and now it belongs to the state. Since the 1930s the gradual restoration works continue until to this day.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.