The Visconti Castle is a castle of Middle Age origin located in Cassano d'Adda. It received the current form in the 14th century, when Bernabò Visconti, lord of Milan, enlarged the existing fortification as part of a defensive system of the Visconti dominions on the Adda river. At the end of the 20th century, after a period of abandonment, it was restored and transformed into a hotel.
A castle in the area is supposed to have existed since the carolingean time. Near the castle, on 27 September 1259, the Battle of Cassano was fought between the two Milanese factions supporting Ezzelino da Romano and Martino Della Torre. The battle ended with the defeat of Ezzelino and the confirmation of the Della Torre family as lords of Milan.
The castle was acquired by the Visconti house after their victory over the Della Torre in the fight for the lordship of Milan. In 1355, it was assigned to Bernabò within the division among him and his brothers Matteo II and Galeazzo II. Between 1355 e 1370, Bernabò, who had received the eastern portion of the Visconti territories, built a defensive line along the Adda river. As part of it, the existing fortification of Cassano d'Adda was strengthened and enlarged.
In the 15th century, Francesco Sforza consolidated the castle with the imposing buttresses, elevated over the Muzza canal, which today characterise the castle.
In the following centuries, lost its military importance, the castle was used for different purposes: warehouse, prison and recovery for homeless people. In the 20th century, restoration works were undertaken, bringing back the castle to its original features. During these works, Middle Age frescos were discovered on the walls and on the vaulted ceilings and accordingly preserved.References:
Hluboká Castle (Schloss Frauenberg) is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic. In the second half of the 13th century, a Gothic castle was built at the site. During its history, the castle was rebuilt several times. It was first expanded during the Renaissance period, then rebuilt into a Baroque castle at the order of Adam Franz von Schwarzenberg in the beginning of the 18th century. It reached its current appearance during the 19th century, when Johann Adolf II von Schwarzenberg ordered the reconstruction of the castle in the romantic style of England's Windsor Castle.
The Schwarzenbergs lived in Hluboká until the end of 1939, when the last owner (Adolph Schwarzenberg) emigrated overseas to escape from the Nazis. The Schwarzenbergs lost all of their Czech property through a special legislative Act, the Lex Schwarzenberg, in 1947.
The original royal castle of Přemysl Otakar II from the second half of the 13th century was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century by the Lords of Hradec. It received its present appearance under Count Jan Adam of Schwarzenberg. According to the English Windsor example, architects Franz Beer and F. Deworetzky built a Romantic Neo-Gothic chateau, surrounded by a 1.9 square kilometres English park here in the years 1841 to 1871. In 1940, the castle was seized from the last owner, Adolph Schwarzenberg by the Gestapo and confiscated by the government of Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II. The castle is open to public. There is a winter garden and riding-hall where the Southern Bohemian gallery exhibitions have been housed since 1956.