Schwarzenburg Castle was built in 1573-76 to replace the increasingly expensive to maintain Grasburg Castle. From the beginning it was built as an administrative center for the Grasburg district and as a home for the governor. Grasburg was a shared condominium between the Cantons of Bern and Fribourg so the governor was appointed by each Canton in turn. Following the 1798 French invasion, Schwarzenburg Castle and the district became part of Bern permanently. The castle remained the administrative center of the Schwarzenburg District until the District was dissolved in 2010 as part of a major reorganization in the Canton. The castle was no longer needed and was one of twelve that the Canton offered for sale. It was the first of that group that sold, when the Canton accepted the offer of the Schwarzenburg Castle foundation (Stiftung Schloss Schwarzenburg) before the reorganization was complete. Today the castle is used for art exhibits and can be rented for celebrations and meetings.
The castle was built as an administrative center and manor house rather than as a pure defensive structure. The main building is a three-story rectangular building with a half-hipped roof. An octagonal staircase tower topped with a pointed roof links the levels together. An enclosed courtyard links the main building to a gatehouse and the granary. However, the walls, towers and gatehouse were built to make it into an impressive government building, not for defensive purposes. Many of the rooms still feature the original coffered ceilings from 1575. The main entrance moved to the north side in the 18th century. The new entrance was decorated in the Louis XVI style and a fountain topped with an obelisk. The attached granary was rebuilt in the mid-18th century and again in 1983.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.