The building of Hultaby Castle was begun in the second half of the 13th century and it was inhabited in the middle of the 14th century by the Swedish councillor of the realm and earl of the Orkney Islands, Erengisle Sunesson (Bååt).
Together with the castle itself, which is 28 by 32 metres, the castle area consists of a group of 10 building foundations, which lie in an L-formation on the southern and eastern sides of the castle. There used to be an additional fifteen or so buildings spread out outside the castle area. The upper part of the castle, which consisted of a great room, two minor rooms and a tower, and the surrounding buildings, were of timber.
The castle is thought to have been burnt by Count Henrik of Holstein (known as “Järn Henrik”, Iron Henrik), the bailiff of King Albrecht, during the 1360s, at which time there was civil strife between the rival Swedish kings Magnus Eriksson and Albrecht of Mecklenburg.
The area around the old ruins shows many traces of the old cultivated landscape. Apart from the mounds of stones left by the farming of times past, there also remain plants that are favoured by hay making and grazing, such as leopard’s bane, greater yellow-rattle and common milkwort.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.