Amsoldingen Castle and the neighboring was built in the 10th century. The castle was built as the residence of the wealthy provost of the collegiate church of Amsoldingen. However, the provost and church gradually became impoverished and in 1484 ownership of the castle was given to St. Vincent's cathedral in Bern. The college of canons in Bern sold the castle and surrounding lands in 1496 to the wealthy merchant Barthlome May. In 1536, Barthlome's grandson, Sulpitius May, sold the castle, after which it passed through a number of owners.
By the end of the 17th century it was owned by the engineer and surveyor Samuel Bodmer. Between 1711 and 1724, Bodmer lived in the castle as he designed the flood control system around Thun Lake and the Aare River to protect the villages and farm land from floods. During the 18th and early 19th century the castle was owned by the Luternau family who built the parks around the castle. It was sold in 1815 to Ludwig Zeerleder, who then sold it to Alfred de Rougemont von Bonstetten, who later sold it to Beat Ludwig Tscharner von Erlach. Under von Erlach the castle was rebuilt in a neo-Gothic style in 1846.
The first church on the site was built in the early Romanesque style in the 6th century. Like the castle, the former collegiate church of St. Mauritius was built in the 10th century. The Ottonian three-aisle church was built from stone scavenged from the ruins of Aventicum on the foundations of the earlier church. According to tradition, the stift or donation that supported the church was made in the 10th century by the King of Burgundy Rudolph II. It was one of the twelve churches that he founded around Lake Thun. Around 1210, the 10th century church was modified with the construction of the crypt and renovation of the south aisle. The church is first mentioned in a record in 1228. Around 1300, the interior of the church was covered with murals including the still visible painting of Saint Christopher on the north wall. The southern side apse was demolished and a Romanesque bell tower was added between 1345 and 1486.
Over the following centuries, the stift gradually became impoverished and in 1484 the Pope approved the dissolution of the Stift and its incorporation into the newly created stift of St. Vincent's cathedral in Bern. The church became the parish church of Amsoldingen. In 1528 the Protestant Reformation spread through the region and the church became a Protestant church. In 1576 a fire damaged the church, forcing a major renovation. A new roof was built and the main apse was raised in 1576. The following year a new pulpit was built. The oldest of the four bells was hung in the bell tower in 1579. The wooden ceiling was added in 1661 or 1666 and a mural of the Last Supper was painted in 1668.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.