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:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.