The Castle of Capdepera is one of the largest castles on the Majorca island. Its construction began in 310, but in the fourteenth century it was rebuilt on the remains of a Muslim village.
The Castle of Capdepera is important to the island as it was from here that the surrender of Menorca, the island neighbouring Majorca in the Balearic archipelago, was accomplished. King James I of Aragon, having conquered Majorca, decided he needed his troops for the future conquest of Valencia. He devised a ploy to deceive the Muslims residing on Menorca and cause them to surrender. To do this, he ordered a large number of bonfires lit in Capdepera so that they were visible from the neighbouring island. This was to make the Saracen Menorcans believe that a large army had camped there and were preparing to invade Menorca. The ruse worked. So finally, at this very castle, James I signed the Treaty of Capdepera, through which the Menorcan Muslims were allowed to remain there in submission to the King of Aragon under tribute.
The first construction of a fortress on this site was by Romans. It was later enlarged by the Moors. It was destroyed during Christian invasions but they later constructed another structure in the same location in the fourteenth century.
King James II (1285-1295) having already founded the town of Capdepera in 1300, ordered the population of the area, which had been scattered, to build the walled enclosure surrounding one of its watchtowers now known as Miquel Nunis. Its strategic location on a hill allowed them to view the adjacent lands and sea channel separating the two islands.
The castle was occupied by military troops up to 1854 when it was abandoned. From then until 1983 it was under private ownership. At that time the owners donated it to the Capdepera Town Council. Today it remains open for tourist viewing throughout the year.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.