Łańcut Castle was the residence of the Pilecki, Lubomirski and Potocki families. The complex includes a number of buildings and is surrounded by a park.
The history of Łańcut stretches back to the early Middle Ages, founded as a town in 1349 under King Casmir the Great. The major landowning families in Łańcut were, successively, the Pilecki’s, Stadnicki’s, Lubomirski’s and the Potocki’s.
The first residence of the Łańcut dukes was located on a hill in the northern part of the town. The present castle was built for Stanisław Lubomirski in 1629 - 1642. At that time it was a modern, palazzo forteza type of residence, consisting of living quarter with donjons at the corners, surrounded by bastion fortifications. The builders included Maciej Trapola, Krzysztof Mieroszewski, Tylman from Gameren and Giovanni Battista Falconi.
In the second half of the 18th century, the then current owner of Łańcut, Izabela Lubomirska of the Czartoryski family, converted the fortress into palace-park complex. She employed outstanding artists such as Szymon Bogumił Zug, Jan Christian Kamsetzer, Christian Piotr Aigner, Fryderyk Bauman and Vincenzo Brenna.
The most important changes were made to the layout and equipment of the castle, adapting them to the needs of the fashion of the times. The palace was filled with excellent works of art. In the 1870s, work started to create the park surrounding the castle. After levelling the embankments and re-aligning the road surrounding the moat, lime-trees were planted out creating an avenue.
At the end of 18th century, Łańcut was one of the greatest residences in Poland. It featured an active musical and theatrical life, with many famous guests staying. In 1816, after Princess Izabela Lubomirska’s death, the whole estate became a property of her grandson Alfred Potocki the First, who in 1830 created electoral law in Łańcut.
His son, Alfred Józef the Second, was tightly connected with the ruling house of Habsburgs. He rarely visited Łańcut, and so the castle together with the park fell into disuse.
After Alfred the Second’s death, Łańcut moved into Roman Potocki’s hands, who together with his wife, Elżbieta from the Radziwiłł family, returned it to its former splendour.
From 1889 to 1911, the castle was renovated and reconstructed, the works led by French architect Armand Beaugue and Italian draughtsman Albert Pio.
The reconstruction included all floors, and water supply, sewerage and electrical systems were installed throughout the castle. Most of the present interiors were created at that time. The elevations were converted into French neo-baroque style. Works in the park started in 1890 and continued for 14 years. It was twice enlarged and surrounded fenced in. An Italian garden was created near eastern side of the castle, while a rose garden was arranged on the southern side of the Orangery.
After this thorough reconstruction and modernisation, the Łańcut palace-park complex became one of the most luxurious residences in the continental Europe, and archdukes such Rudolf and Frank Ferdinand were frequent guests. The residence was visited by many representatives of famous aristocratic dynasties and famous diplomats. At the beginning of 20th century Łańcut electoral law was in fifth place, in respect of its area, in Poland.
The next Lord of the Manor in Łańcut, from 1915, was Alfred Potocki the Third. In 1920s the central heating was modernized, and a bathing suite installed in underground rooms. Łańcut Castle became a place for social meetings. The castle was visited by representatives of royal dynasties, Polish and foreign aristocracy and politicians. These included Rumanian King Ferdinand together with his wife, and George the Duke of Kent. In 1944 Potocki had to leave Łańcut. He settled in Switzerland, where he died in 1958.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.