The Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares is now home to the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares. It is located in the Plaza del Palacio and this form part of the monumental set declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The building set dates from 1209. Two thirds were destroyed as a result of a devastating fire in 1939, during the Spanish Civil War. Is preserved is what is left intact after the 1939 fire, the damaged parts were not restored.
In this building came to reside different Castilian monarchs, were held synods and councils, and in here were born the youngest daughter of the Catholic Monarchs and future queen of England, Catherine of Aragon, and the German Emperor Ferdinand, son of Joanna 'the Mad'. In addition, it is famous for being the place where was performed the first meeting between the Catholic Monarchs and Christopher Columbus.
Currently the palace has 16 towers, highlighting the 'Tower of Tenorio'. Entering through the parade courtyard, appears the Renaissance main facade of the building. It is divided into two bodies, being the low of ashlar, with two floors of Plateresque windows that joins an upper gallery of gemanates arches. On the central window is a Baroque coat of terracotta, which replaced the imperial of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The blazon is of the Cardinal-Infante Luis Antonio of Bourbon, son of Philip V, first Bourbon replacing the Habsburg dynasty. This courtyard is closed at south by a cast iron grille, made in Belgium in the 19th century.
In the east wing, where was the 'Hall of Councils', was done in the 19th century a major restoration in its exterior and interior by Juan José Urquijo y Manuel Laredo, following the Neo-Mudéjar style. In 1997 was opened the restored neo-Gothic chapel that replaces the missing Hall of Councils. In the lower floor has made a modern auditorium, replacing the 'Hall of the Queen Isabella'.References:
Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).
Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.
Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.
An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.
On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".