Sumber Castle Ruins

Sveta Nedelja, Croatia

Šumber castle was built at the site of the prehistoric hillfort. The site was first mentioned in documents in 872, and in 950 when Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porfirogenet confirmed the presence of Slavs in these villages. In 1260, has passed into the possession of vassals of the Counts of Gorizia, the Austrian noble family Schönberg by which it got its name. Among the signatories of the peace treaty in 1274 between the Aquleia patriarch Raimondo della Torre and the Count of Gorizia Albert I, there was Teodorich de Sumberg. As a vassal of Gorizia Count Albert III, Dietrich von Schonberg in 1341 attack and plundered the countryside of Venetian Motovun. Since 1367, when counts of Gorizia became extinct, was inherited by Habsburg family and was part of the Pazin County.

At the end of the 14th century, after the extinction of the family Schönberg and marriage of Anna Schönberg with Ivan Gutenegg, the lord of Kožljak, it was connected to Kožljak estate. In 1444, Anna sold the castle to the lords of Kršan, Juraj Kerstlein (Karscheyner). After Labin in 1420 came under Venetian rule, Šumber became a border fortress between the Austrian March of Istria, and Venetian part of Istria. In 1420 Venetians occupied it but they also accepted the offer of lord of Kršan to buy the village. Therefore, it was converted into a Renaissance castle by additions of corner round semi-tower. In the war between Emperor Maximilian and Venice in 1508, Gaspar Karscheyner lost Kršan and Šumber, but in 1509 they were returned. Gaspar repaired Kršan, but in 1515 sold Šumber to the family Herberstein, lords of Lupoglav.

The Herberstein family ruled it only briefly as in 1525 exchanged it with Ferdinand I Habsburg for Reitberg. When Ferdinand became king of Croatia in 1527, he gave it to Senj and Klis captain Petar Kružić. After Kružić died in 1537, was inherited by his daughter Margareta, and with marriage, to Senj nobleman Ivan Sinković. As Sinković died in 1616 without male heirs, the inheritance have taken his daughters. At that time it was exposed to frequent Venetian attacks. Under the pretense that its lords are helping Uskoks (which was true, because many Uskoks really found refuge on the Istrian properties of Kružić and Sinković), in 1612 was devastated by the Venetian mercenaries. When the Uskoks attacked and plundered Plomin in 1614, Šumber was again exposed to Venetian devastation. At the beginning of Uskok War, 1616, Šumber again suffers Venetian attacks and looting, which ceased only in 1617.

After the completion of the Uskok War in 1617, its defensive function was converted into a comfortable residence. In 1626 became the property of Prince Johann Ulrich von Eggenberg, whose son Anton in 1634 sold Šumber for 42,000 florins to Baron Pompeo II Brigido of Trieste, whose estate were around Lupoglav (i.e. Lupoglav, Šumber, Lesičina). This family continued to own the property until the end of feudalism in 1848.

It's a small fortress with polygonal layout defended by two round half-towers in south-eastern and south-western part, next to which is on the west wall the main entrance to the fort. On the inner side of the southern wall are the remains of a long and narrow one-story palace, and another small house is located in the northeast corner of the castle. Although the castle is largely preserved, at least according to Valvasor views from 1680, the tower and the residential wings were much higher than they are today.

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Sveta Nedelja, Croatia
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Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Croatia

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Wawel Hill – a Jurassic limestone rock, a dominant feature in the landscape of Kraków, have provided a safe haven for people who have settled here since the Paleolithic Age. It is supposed that the Slav people started living on Wawel hill as early as the 7th century. Early medieval legends tell stories about a dreadful dragon that lived in a cave on Wawel Hill, about his slayer Krakus, and about the latter’s daughter Wanda, who drowned herself in the Vistula rather than marry a German knight. Towards the end of the first millennium A.D Wawel began to play the role of the centre of political power.In the 9th century it became the principal fortified castrum of the Vislane tribe. The first historical ruler of Poland, Miesco I (c.965-992) of the Piast dynasty as well as his successors: Boleslas the Brave (992-1025) and Miesco II (1025-1034) chose Wawel Hill as one of their residences.

At that time Wawel became one of the main Polish centres of Christianity. The first early Romanesque and Romanesque sacral buildings were raised here, including a stone cathedral that was erected after the bishopric of Kraków was established in the year 1000.

During the reign of Casimir the Restorer (1034-1058) Wawel became a significant political and administrative centre for the Polish State. Casimir’s son, Boleslas the Bold (1058-1079) began the construction of a second Romanesque cathedral, which was finished by Boleslas the Wrymouth (1102-1138). In his last will of 1138, this prince divided Poland into districts, and provided that Kraków was to be the residence of the senior prince. In 1291 the city of Kraków along with Wawel Hill temporarily fell under the Czech rule, and Wenceslas II from the Premysl dynasty was crowned King of Poland in Wawel cathedral.

In 1306 the Duke of Kuyavia Ladislas the Short (1306-1333) entered Wawel and was crowned King of Poland in the Cathedral in 1320. It was the first historically recorded coronation of a Polish ruler on Wawel Hill. Around that time, at the initiative of Ladislas the Short, the construction of the third Gothic cathedral began, the castle was expanded and the old wooden and earthen fortifications were replaced by brick ones. The tomb of Ladislas the Short in the cathedral started a royal necropolis of Polish kings in Krakow.The last descendant of the Piast dynasty, Casimir the Great (1333-1370) brought Wawel to a state of unprecedented splendour. In 1364 the expanded gothic castle witnessed the marriage of Casimir’s granddaughter Elizabeth to Charles IV accompanied by a famous convention of kings and princes, subsequently entertained by a rich burgher Wierzynek. The accession to the throne in 1385 of Jadwiga from the Hungarian dynasty of Andegavens, and her marriage to a Lithuanian prince Ladislas Jagiello (1386-1434) started another era of prosperity for Wawel. The royal court employed local and western European artists and also Rus painters. During the reign of Casimir Jagiellon (1447-1492) the silhouette of the hill was enriched by three high brick towers: the Thieves’ Tower, the Sandomierz Tower and the Senatorial Tower. The first humanists in Poland and tutors to the king’s sons: historian Jan Długosz and an Italian by the name Filippo Buonacorsi (also known as Callimachus) worked there at that time.

The Italian Renaissance arrived at Wawel in the early 16th century. King Alexander (1501-1506) and his brother Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) commissioned the construction of a new palace in place of the Gothic residence, with an impressive large courtyard with arcaded galleries which was completed about 1540. Sigismund’s patronage also left an indelible impression in the cathedral, where a family chapel was erected, known today as Sigismund’s Chapel - the work of Bartolomeo of Berrecci Florence, and through various foundations, one of which was that of a large bell, called the Sigismund to commemorate the king. Close artistic and cultural relations with Italy were strengthened in 1518 by the king’s marriage to Bona Sforza. Alongside Italian artists, German architects, wood workers, painters and metal smiths worked for the king. The last descendant of the Jagiellonian dynasty, Sigismund II Augustus (1548-1572), enriched the castle’s interiors with a magnificent collection of tapestries woven in Brussels. In the “Golden Age” of Polish culture Wawel became one of the main centres of humanism in Europe.

The reign of Sigismund III Waza (1587-1632) also made a strong impression on the history of Wawel. After a fire in the castle in 1595 the king rebuilt the burned wing of the building in the early Baroque style. The relocation of the royal court to Warsaw was the cause of a slow but nevertheless steady deterioration in the castle’s condition. The monarchs visited Kraków only occasionally. Restoration of the castle was undertaken during the reign of John III Sobieski, the Wettins and Stanislas Augustus to counteract neglect.

After Poland had lost its independence in 1795, the troops of partitioning nations, Russia, Prussia and Austria, subsequently occupied Wawel which finally passed into the hands of the Austrians. The new owners converted the castle and some of the secular buildings into a military hospital, and demolished some others, including churches. After the period of the Free City of Kraków (1815-1846) Wawel was once more annexed by Austria and turned into a citadel dominating the city. By the resolution passed by the Seym of Galicia in 1880, the castle was presented as a residence to the Emperor of Austria Franz Josef I. The Austrian troops left the hill between 1905-1911. At the turn of the 20th century a thorough restoration of the cathedral was conducted, and shortly afterwards a process of restoration of the royal castle began which lasted several decades.

When Poland regained its independence in 1918, the castle served as an official residence of the Head of State, and as a museum of historic interiors. During the Nazi occupation the castle was the residence of the German governor general, Hans Frank. Polish people managed to remove the most valuable objects, including the tapestries and the “Szczerbiec” coronation sword to Canada, from where they returned as late as 1959-1961. At present, the main curators of Wawel are Wawel Royal Castle – State Art Collection and the Metropolitan Basilica Board on Wawel Hill.