About 1200 the original fortress Kasteln was built in the middle Schenkenberger valley, a few kilometers away from Schenkenberg Castle. In 1238 the castle is first mentioned in a deed of gift to the residents of the castle who were vassals of the Kyburgs. In 1262 Ruchenstein castle was built on the cliff directly behind the fort for the Knight of Ruchenstein. After the extinction of the Kyburg line in 1264, the castle came under the power of the House of Habsburg. Then in 1301 the Ruchenstein line died out, ten years after they had been given the fort as a gift by the Habsburgs. Both castles were acquired by the lords of Mülinen from Brugg. From here, they ruled over a small area on the southern edge of the Jura.
The castle belonged to the family of Mülinen until 1631 when Johann Ludwig von Erlach bought both castles. The Bernese patrician and general ordered the reconstruction of the castle in 1642 to a representative of manor house. Ruchenstein castle was demolished a year later and served as a building material supplier. Because the builder had no previous expertise, and the client was mostly absent, the conversion proved to be expensive and lasted until 1650. After about a century in the possession of the family of Erlach, in 1732 Bern bought the little bailiwick for 90,000 Taler.
After the fall of the Ancien Régime and the Act of Mediation in 1803, the bailiwick came into possession of the newly formed canton of Aargau. The castle was sold in 1836 to a private citizen. In 1855 the brothers Frederick and Louis Carnival of Aarau acquired the property and opened a 'rescue institution for orphans and neglected pupils' of the Reformed denomination. On 24 August 1907 one of the pupils set the castle and adjacent barn on fire. Both buildings suffered heavy damage and had to be rebuilt. It wasn't until 1909 that the Institute started operations in the manor again.
The Institute received the status of a foundation in 1923 and was converted in 1955 in a boarding school for students with behavioral problems. In 1969 next to the castle they built a second school building, swimming pool and a staff house. The entire castle was extensively renovated in 2009 inside and out and adapted to the current needs of the social education.
Kasteln is the only uniform baroque palace built in the Aargau. The current design is mainly due to the modifications under Johann Ludwig von Erlach. At the core is a four-story medieval castle with two-story wings, from 1642–50, to the east and west. The wings were built partly from material from the demolished castle Ruchenstein. The unusually rich interior of the castle in 1907 was lost in the fire.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".