Tykocin Castle, then located on a border area in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, was built in 1433 for Lithuanian noble Jonas Goštautas, voivode of Trakai and Vilnius, replacing the original wooden fortress. In the 1560s, upon the death of the last member of the Goštautas family the castle became the property of king Sigismund II Augustus, who expanded it. The construction was supervised by Hiob Bretfus, military engineer and royal architect. During the reign of Sigismund Augustus the structure served as a royal residence with an impressive treasury and library as well as the main arsenal of the crown. In 1611–1632 the castle was rebuilt again and surrounded with bastion fortifications by Krzysztof Wiesiołowski, starosta of Tykocin.
During the 1655 Deluge, the Radziwiłł army occupied the castle. On December 31, 1655, when the castle was besieged by troops of the Tyszowce Confederation, Janusz Radziwiłł, one of the most powerful people in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth considered by some as the traitor, died here. Ultimately, the castle was captured on January 27, 1657.
In the following years the castle and surrounding lands were donated to Stefan Czarniecki in reward for his contribution in the war. The new owner rebuilt the castle after 1698. In November 1705 the meeting between the king Augustus II the Strong and Peter the Great took place here. During this meeting the Order of White Eagle was established by the King of Poland.
In 1734 the castle was destroyed by fire. Since that time, no inhabited building began to fall into disrepair. In 1771 remains of the castle were destroyed by flood and in 1914, during World War I, the material from the remaining walls was used by the German soldiers to build roads.
Based on the preserved plans of the fortress, found in the archives in Saint Petersburg, the residential part of the castle has been restored (west wing in the style of late Gothic). The original castle was built on a plan of a trapezoid with a courtyard and four cylindrical towers at the corners. The complex was surrounded with fortifications – curtains combined four terrestrial inner bastions.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.