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:
For centuries, the Astrakhan Kremlin was inapproachable stronghold in the south-eastern border of the Russia. The first construction of the Kremlin began in 1587-1588 under the guidance of I.G. Vorodkov, a lector of Discharge Order. He laid the first wooden fortress with powerful solid walls and towers. The place of construction was chosen on the hill, known as “Rabbit” or “Zayachii” in Russian.
During the reign of Ivan IV The Terrible and Boris Godunov the wooden fortress was rebuilt into a stone one. For the development of Kremlin walls and towers state-owned official masters were headed from Moscow to Astrakhan. For best results executives used the old, but very strong Tatar plinths which were brought from the ruins of the cities of the Golden Horde towns. Stone citadel was built by the type of Moscow Kremlin.
Next two centuries have become relatively calm for the Kremlin. Its buildings were repaired, rebuilt and renewed. However, in the beginning of 20th century after the October Revolution access to the Kremlin was closed. Instead it was transformed as a military post, where groups of Red Guards were formed the Military Revolutionary Committee was placed.
In January 1918 Astrakhan Kremlin was once again in the middle of fateful events, when supporters of Soviet power fought with Astrkhan Cossaks. They attacked The Red Army that was entrenched in the Kremlin, from roofs of nearby buildings. Serious destruction was caused to the Kremlin after this battle. In 1919 the Army was reorganized under the leadership of Kirov to protect the outfall of Volga and to defeat the White Guard troops and foreign interventionists.
Only after the end of the World War II the town opened the access to the Kremlin. At the same time Kremlin ceases to be subject of military purposes. In the mid-20th century significant restoration works were held, due to which many buildings, requiring urgent repairs were saved.
In 1974 the Astrakhan Kremlin became a museum. Nowadays citizens and tourists of Astrakhan have the access to museum exhibits of the lifestyle of the Astrakhan Garrison. Moreover they can see Casual Suits archers and scorers, elements of their weapons and ammunition, the exhibition dedicated to the history of popular uprisings and corporal punishment. In 2011, after the restoration of the kremlin, Guardhouse exposition was opened, which tells about the life of Astrakhan military garrison of the 19th century.
Construction of Assumption Cathedral began in 1699 and lasted almost 12 years. The bell tower was erected in 1710. The exterior of the Cathedral was decorated with molded brick and carved with white stone. Windows and dome heads were framed by columns in the style of Corinthian décor and semicircular arches were filled with paintings with biblical plot. Three of such arches were arranged on each side of the temple.
The cathedral was divided into two floors: the upper church is dedicated to the honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Tall and light temple was intended for ceremonial worships during warm months. The lower church which is dark lightened and surrounded by the gallery columns.