Campell Castle was probably begun in the early 13th century for the knightly von Campell family. The first mention of the family is from 1289 when Egeno de Campelle appears in a record. The original castle was a four story bergfried. In the 13th or early 14th century it was expanded with a ring wall, gatehouse, ditches and a drawbridgeon the west side and a residential wing on the east. However, the Campell family died out in the 14th century. In 1389 the Bishopric of Chur recorded that Bishop Hartmann granted lands that used to be the Campell fief to Hans and Gottfried von Ehrenfels. Though the grant probably did not include the castle, because it wasn't until 1418 that the Bishop granted the castle to Hermann von Schauenstein-Ehrenfels.
During the 15th century, the west wall was raised and had a roof added. The original tower had two more stories added and was topped with crenelations. A large cistern was excavated to the north. Around the middle of the 15th century the castle was given to the Ringg family, but in 1500 it was returned to the Schauenstein family, so it is unclear who renovated the castle.
In the 16th century it was once again rebuilt. The west wall and zwinger were roofed over and became a three story palas. The old gate in the west was walled up and a new one was added in the south wall. The west wall was extended northward to protect the castle's flank.
In 1562 the Schauenberg-Ehrenfels sold the castle to Hans Faschau. A few years later, in 1567, he sold it to Hercules von Salis, whose family held the castle for almost a century. During the Bündner Wirren of the Thirty Year's War the castle was damaged by fire. The west palas was rebuilt in 1635, while the east residential wing was abandoned and became a stable.(Bauphase 5) In 1647 the Salis family sold it to the Freiherr von Schauenstein-Fürstenau. By 1700 it was abandoned, but remained in good condition. By 1900, it had fallen into ruin when the Abula line of the Rhaetian Railway was built over the outer moat. In 1932 the Campell family bought the castle. Between 1993 and 1998 the ruins were stabilized, repaired and excavated and they opened to visitors in 2001.
Much of the castle is still standing. The original tower stands in the center of the complex. At the foot of the tower is an arched doorway that leads to the eastern wing of the castle. Both the tower and the east wing have retained their medieval character. The west palas was built after the castle had ceased being a fortification and had become a nobleman's house and so has large windows which would have lit comfortable rooms.References:
Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.
Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.
In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.
In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.
After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.