Medieval Hum town was first mentioned in 1102 in the deed of gift by Marquis Ulrich II. The passage through the early 12th century double entrance gates, and then this one from 1562 leads us into the square. The exceptionally small area has all town features: the town loggia, nobility and folk houses, and the parish church with the priest residence.
The castle was located on the site of the current Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (erected in 1802) on the highest point of the town, which allowed its control of the surrounding area. Rectangular in shape, 30 x 35 meters (typical dimensions of the time) and connected by two streets with the twin town gates, which facilitated better communication and protection. The castle was entered from the inside, from the town. Despite its basic defensive purpose, in the earlier era it was a seat of its owners – the feudal lords under the Patriarch of Aquileia.
Ever since the prehistoric times until the ruins of the Venetians in 1797, Hum was a defensive border town, full of life, conflicts, different rulers, war and peace. From the antiquity to the Late Middle Ages, it was used as a defensive castle of an estate. Often destroyed and renovated, it finally fell under the Venetian rule in 1412, which restored it completely to defend its own borders. Its most probable final fall occurred during the Uskok War (1612-1618), when the entire town was burned down and the castle was never renovated. Its stone was gradually being taken for building houses. Any trace of it was finally lost following the erection of the church.References:
Ceský Sternberk Castle is an early Gothic castle which was constructed, named and still owned by members of the same family. Today it is a residence that bears a long historical and architectural heritage and represents an attractive tourist destination open to the public. It is considered one of the best preserved Gothic Bohemian castles.
The castle was initially built in 1241 by Zdeslav of Divisov, later called Zdeslav Sternberg. The development of new firearms in the 14th century posed an unexpected threat to the defensibility of the castle. Its 13th century architects hadn't foreseen the danger of long-range firearms and its reinforcement became a necessity. During this period the Ceský Sternberk castle's fortifications were improved through the construction in the north of a three-story tower, which was connected to the castle by a rampart. In 1467 the castle was seized by the royal armies of George of Podébrady. Later, the ruined castle was regained by Sternberk's aristocracy, who, by the turn of the 15th to 16th century, had reconstructed the castle, renewed its defensive system and expanded it with the construction of a new cylindrical tower in the south and the Dungeon in the north. The castle managed to survive the looting of the rebels in 1627, during the Thirty Years' War. With the death of Jan Václav in 1712, the Holicý branch of the Sternberg family died out and its ownership passed to other families, who in 1751 built the lower palace next to the surrounding wall.
The ownership of the castle was returned to the Sternberg family in 1841 when Zdenék of Sternberg from the Konopisté branch of the family bought it. It remained in Sternberg's ownership until 1949 when it was nationalized by the Communist government of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. After the fall of Communism and the Velvet Revolution, in 1992, Ceský Sternberk castle returned to Jirí's son, the count Zdenék Sternberg, the current owner of the castle.
Ceský Sternberk Castle was originally built as a Gothic castle. Eventually it underwent several periods of reconstructions and further fortification and the Gothic architectural features were in parts concealed by the new reconstructions. Especially the interiors of the castle were realized under the Baroque and Rococo styles. In 1760, the master Carlo Brentano performed the elaborate stuccoing and renderings of the halls' interiors. The castle offers a rare collection of 545 copper engravings, depicting the entire history of the Thirty Years' War. Also, historical weapons and hunting trophies are exhibited within the castle's halls.