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Old June 25th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #1
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Palaces, castles, mansions etc.

Lately I am going upset about the wide array of terms applied to a historical noble-looking buildings, which have been built and used mainly for one family+their servants.

In Latvian language there are at least two widely used terms - "pils" and "muiža" - the latest rather means territorial unit owned by one family with one central building. "Pils" on the other hand is something great, ornate and large, with history. Also the ancient, ruined fortified residences are called "pils". In total we got more than 1000 structures called "castles"+"manor houses"+"palaces" etc etc.

So we got the following terms in use...
- Castle
- Palace (I think in French - Chateau)
- Mansion (the same as manor house? Country house is something else or the same? Fazenda belongs here? Could medieval, fortified castle, which is still in use, be called also mansion?)
- Townhouse (Italian palazzo, palazzi or French palais)
- Villa (another name for country house?)

Where to draw line among these terms?

Here some examples of Latvian... I don't know anymore what - castles of palaces? What is what???

a) Residence of Pelci landowner, built in 1902. Served as apartments for his family, they owned several thousand hektars.

b) Mezotne palace - early 19th century. Larger and more magnificent than the previous, once upon a time owned by a lot more influential landlord.

c) Cesvaine palace, late 19th century. Land owner may be was not terribly politically influential, but he created strong local economy and could afford both to build a beautiful village and nice residence for himself.

d) Rundale palace, built in 18th century, owned by wannabe (unsuccessful) Russian tsar, one of most influential man in Russian empire in his time.

e) Aizkraukle hillfort. Here on 10-12th century was standing wooden fort, ruled by influential local clan. Nothing remains of buildings.

f) Turaida castle ruins - 12th century castle ruins, once owned by one Christian order, built for fortification (and conquest).

g) Dauderi, suburban villa in Riga, built by rich owner of brewery at the end of 19th century.

h) Vacation home in Jurmala built at the end of 19th century by some rich city family from Riga or some other place in former Russian Empire.

i) Ungurmuiza - Barocco style wooden residence of local landlord near Cesis, 18th century.

j) Straupe Castle, initially fortified castle built in 14th century, later - rebuilt as residence of local landlords.

k) Castle of Riga - for centuries used as a seat of governors of this place, now - premises of President.

l) Manager's house, Aumeisteri - for most part of year the owners of large complex of buildings in this remote part of Latvia were elsewhere - this house was built for manager, who managed these properties on behalf of the owner.

m) Zeluste manor - late 18th - early 19th century "vacation house" for rich Riga city family, located some 15 km from city centre. Earlier there were some 200 such "vacation homes", now some 40 survive.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:51 PM   #2
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Palace of Marques de Dos Aguas in Valencia (Spain).S XV-XVIII

he Ceramics Museum is housed in the Palacio de Marques de Dos Aguas, a luxurious palace that combines rococco, neo-classical and oriental elements. The unbelievable baroque entrance to the building never fails to impress the visitors. The rich ornament of the building is enough incentive to come here even if you don't intend to go inside. Inside, however, more marvel awaits you - the fully furbished interior of the palace and the best of ceramics that Valencia had to offer through the centuries.

History: the palace dates from as far back as XV century, although it has been fully re-shaped since then. Home to a Valencian noble family - the Marquis de Dos Aguas, it was originally a Gothic building. In 1740 it was re-shaped to Baroque by Hipolito Rovira, and it is then that the famous entrance was added. The last modification took place in 1850s-60s, when the entire facade was redesigned to a hybrid of newer elements. In 1949 the palace was bought by the Ministry of Education to house the collection of ceramics donated by Dr. Gonzalez Marti.

la ville de Valence-Espagne

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Old December 8th, 2008, 01:21 AM   #3
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A few examples from Poland :

Wawel castle in Krakow

Malbork castle :

Lidzbark Warminski castle

Swiecie castle

Gniew castle

Chojnik castle

Olsztyn castle

Ksiaz castle

Bedzin castle :

Moszna palace :

Ilza castle

Niedzica castle

Czorsztyn castle

Czocha castle

Ogrodzieniec castle

Mirow castle

Krzyztopor castle

Leczyca castle

Checiny castle

Krasiczyn castle

Golub-Dobrzyn castle

Pieskowa Skala castle near Krakow

Ojcow castle near Krakow

Teczyn castle near Krakow

Kolo castle

Lipowiec castle

Royal castle in Warsaw

Wisnicz castle

Liw castle

Czersk castle near Warsaw

Wilanow palace in Warsaw

Palace on the water in Warsaw

Namiestnikowski palace in Warsaw

Darlowo castle

Toszek castle

Siewierz castle

Sandomierz castle

Radzyn Chelmzynski castle

Bytow castle

Debno castle

Chudow castle

Oporow castle

Rytro castle

Pszczyna palace

Kozlowka palace

Lezajsk mansion

Branickich palace in Bialystok

Plawniowice palace

Wojanow palace

Bozkowo palace

Smielow palace

Pod Blacha palace in Warsaw

Korbielowice palace

Rogalin palace

Goluchow palace

Winna Gora palace

Ruines of Kopice palace

Branice mansion

Zyrowa palace

Nieborow palace

Paszkowka palace

Wygielzow mansion

some other mansions

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Old December 8th, 2008, 01:44 AM   #4
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Wow, I didn´t know that we had so many nice places in our country.

Thank you, DocentX, it really makes me happy to see this.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #5
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Bolkow castle - one of my favorite in Poland:

The Bolkow Castle was built in XIII century during the reign of prince from Polish Piast dynasty - Bolko I.

This medieval building is one of the oldest castles in Poland. The castle is divided into two parts: inner built in Gothic style, and outer – build in Renaissance.

The castle had many owners and its walls had witnessed many bloody battles. During one of such battles in the 16th century the castle fell in the hands of the bishop of Wroclaw, who build the outer – Renaissance part of the castle.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 11:45 PM   #6
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really really great buildings there in latvia and poland !
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #7
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More of Niedzica castle (Poland)

Some history:

The Niedzica Castle which is also known under the name of Dunajec Castle, was erected on the site of former stronghold surrounded by earthen walls, in approx. 1325.

The castle was an important centre of Polish-Hungarian relations since the 14th century. It was a place where the money lent by the Polish king to the Hungarian king Sigismund had to be returned following an agreement signed in 1412.

The castle was built by a Hungarian known as Kokos from Brezovica with family rights dating back to 1325. In 1470 it became the property of the aristocratic Zápolya family. However, in 1528, the entire county including the castle was given away by John Zápolya aspiring to the Hungarian throne, and became the property of Viliam Drugeth who received it as a reward for his support. Sixty years later it became the property of Hieronim Łaski and his son Olbracht. At the end of the 16th century the castle was bought by Ján Horváth from Plaveč. The fortress was renovated many times in the fifteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth and in the beginning of the 19th century by its successive owners. The last Hungarian inhabitants remained there until in 1943 when the coming of the front in World War II inspired the Salomon family to abandon it.

The Legend

In the post-World War II period Polish newspapers wrote at length about Sebastián Berzeviczy (one of Niedzica's owners) who traveled to the New World in the 18th century. According to a popular legend, he fell in love with the alleged Inca princess. Their daughter Umina married the nephew of an Inca insurrection leader Túpac Amaru II, whose assumed name implied descent from Inca kings. Túpac Amaru was eventually executed by the Spaniards after rebelling against the colonial government. The legend goes on to claim that the sacred scrolls of the Incas had been handed down to his surviving family members. His nephew, Andrés Túpac Amaru a.k.a. Andreas with wife Umina and his father-in-law Sebastián Berzeviczy fled to Italy, where Andrés was killed in suspicious circumstances. Consequently, Umina with son and her father fled to Hungary and settled at the castle. Sources claim that Umina was assassinated there some time later. Her testament to son Anton, written in 1797 and stored there, allegedly contained information about the lost treasure of the Incas. There was a leaden case found at the castle with some “quipu” writings, but it was lost in Kraków in the following years. Later, news appeared about expeditions searching for fantastic treasures at Lake Titicaca in Peru. The notion that the Inca treasure map could be hidden somewhere in the depths of the castle is still cherished today.

More of Checiny castle (Poland)

The Royal castle was built in XIII c. and some years later it became one of the main quarters of the Polish king Wladyslaw Lokietek.

The castle was extended in the 15th century. It is split into two parts: the proper castle with two characteristic cylindrical stone towers and the lowest castle.

The castle functioned as: the residence for Polish kings and queens, the prision, the vault and finally the flats for some significant people.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 01:32 AM   #8
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Czorsztyn castle (Poland)


The Czorsztyn castle was once a Polish border fortress.

The oldest parts of the castle come from XIII century.

First mentions about “castrum Wronyn” come from this period. The name “Czorsztyn” appears in the middle of XIV century. During the period of Polish king Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki) circumferential walls were built and in the XV century the lower castle and a gateway. In the XVII century, Jan Baranowski, a starost, renovated the castle and added two new towers.

Thanks to its location along a historical trade route, the castle has a rich history.

It was visited by many famous people, including kings. Casimir the Great (Kazimierz Wielki), Louis of Hungary (Ludwik Węgierski), Jadwiga of Angevin (Królowa Jawiga), Ladislaus Jagiello (Władysław Jagiełło) (Zawisza the Black was a starost then ) and Ladislaus of Varna (Władysław Warneńczyk) stayed there. Hussites, John Casimir fleeing the Swedes, insurgents of Kostka Napierski, cossacks and confederates were seeking refuge here.

The castle was also a residence of fameous Polish knight Zawisza Czarny (Zawisza the Black), also known as The Black Knight. He was a winner of many tournaments, a symbol of a knight and a model of all knightly virtues. In 1410 he took part in the battle of Grunwald against the Teutonic Order.

Towards the end of the XVIII century, the castle was burnt after a lightning strike and fell into ruin. At the end of XIX century restoration works have started. They last until today, mostly thanks to the efforts of a present administrator of a castle, The Pieniny National Park.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 03:15 AM   #9
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Janowiec castle

The Janowiec Castle was built for Mikolaj Firlej in 1507-1537.

Mikołaj Firlej was a Polish nobleman (szlachcic), hetman, diplomat, and expert of south-east Europe. Mikołaj became voivode of the Lublin Voivodeship in 1507, voivode of Sandomierz Voivodeship in 1514, Great Hetman of the Crown in 1515, and castellan of Kraków in 1520. He was several times envoy to the courts of Turkey and Hungary. He participated in the Jagiellonian-Habsburg congress at Vienna in 1515. He fought against Tatars in 1516–1519, 1519–1521 and 1523–1524 commanded the Polish cavalry during the war with the Teutonic Order.

Later that century the Italian architect Santi Gucci turned it into a manneristic residence combining features of both a castle and a palace. Later extensions and re-designs added Baroque and Rococo traits to the building's exterior and interiors. A Baroque chapel was erected in the courtyard in the mid-seventeenth century. Since the early years of the nineteenth century the Janowiec Castle started to deteriorate and before long fell into ruin. The innovatory restoration project embarked upon in 1988 envisaged leaving substantial parts of the Castle in permanent ruin.
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Old April 5th, 2009, 03:06 PM   #10
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Legnica castle (Poland)

Construction of the castle was begun towards the end of the 12th century by the prince Henry the Bearded from Polish Piast dynasty and at that time it was among the hugest structures in Poland.

Its present neo-Gothic style goes back to the 1835 reconstruction after one of many fires of the castle.

Tenczyn castle (Poland)

Seated atop a volcanic outcrop about 25 kilometers west of Kraków, Tenczyn Castle was once one of the largest castles in Poland. In its prime it was often regarded on par with the royal residence at Wawel Castle in Kraków in terms of beauty and magnitude. In its ruined state today, it remains a breathtaking monument to Poland’s medieval past.

The first lord of Tenczyn was Andrzej, of the prominent Topor family, Voivode of Krakow (Voivode was a commanding rank in the Polish military). He chose a new name for his family line - Tęczyński - meaning “of Tenczyn”; to mark his affiliation with the new castle he had built.

The castle was constructed of stone on a site previously fortified in timber by his father, Nawoj of Morawica, after 1319. Initially, Tenczyn Castle had three round towers and one square gate tower, all linked by curtain walls with residential buildings in the north and east side of the bailey.

Tenczyn has been mentioned in written sources since the beginning of the 15th century. Numerous medieval expansions are well documented, such as a new Keep in the north-west corner of the bailey, redesign of the east wing for representative purposes, and new apartments in the north wing. A notable manuscript dated from 1404 also denotes construction of a chapel on the site.

The castle’s importance and high defensive quality were confirmed when it was chosen as a place of imprisonment for some of the highest ranking officials of the Teutonic Knights Order, who were taken hostage by the Polish king after their defeat at the battle of Grunwald in 1410. To commemorate that event, one of the castle’s towers was named Grunwaldzka.

In 1570, the castle was totally renovated by Jan Tęczyński, Voivode of Kraków, making it one of the finest examples of the Polish Renaissance. It became a lush noble residence with attics crowning it towers and modern galleries surrounding its main courtyard.

Siewierz castle (Poland)

In history, Sewerien was first mentioned in 1125, which was administered by the Castellan of Bytom. In 1177, Casimir II granted Sewerien to Mieszko IV Tanglefoot duke of Silesia and Racibórz, together with the duchy of Bytom. The town became a seat of a separate castellan by the beginning of the 13th century. In 1241, the Mongols burned the city, and razed the fort to ground.

In 1276, Siewierz received city status. On 26 February 1289, in front of the city gates of Siewierz, the allied forces of Władysław I the Elbow-high, then Duke of Kujawy and Mazovia, the future King of Poland, defeated the army of Henryk IV Probus, duke of Wrocław and Kraków. Henryk IV Probus accepted vassalage and protection from the Bohemian king, Wenceslaus II. He was the first Piast Silesian duke to become Bohemian vassal, leading to Bohemian annexation of most Silesia in the coming years.

In 1337, the duchy of Bytom sold Siewierz to Kazimierz I, duke of Cieszyn. In 1359 the duke of Teschen bought the city of Sewer from Bolko duke of Świdnica, lord of Fürstenberg, for 2,500 marks. The king Charles IV authorized the sale the same year. On 30 December 1443, Zbigniew Oleśnicki, the bishop of Kraków, bought Sewer/Siewierz from Wacław I of Teschen, who was deeply in debts then. The sale was for 6000 Prager Groschen. The bishops of Kraków became dukes of Siewierz, the duchy being not a part of Poland. The city became the seat of the bishops of Kraków, who received also the title duke of Siewierz. They also constructed a castle in Siewierz.

In 1790, near to the doom of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the ecclesiastic duchy of Siewierz was incorporated into the Kingdom of Poland. In 1795, Sewerien, because it was a part of Silesia and its adjacent regions were annexed by Prussia, into the new province of New Silesia (in German: Neuschlesien), by the third partition of Poland. In 1800, the seat of the bishop moved away from Sewerien.

In 1807, Napoleon recreated the duchy of Siewierz (Sievers), and granted it to Jean Lannes, after Prussia was forced to cede all her acquisitions from the 2nd and 3rd partitions of Poland. After the failure of Napoleon, Siewierz was included in the Congress Kingdom of Poland, under Imperial Russian rule. The city declined continuously, due to the lacking of industry and communication. In 1870, it lost its city status. In 1918, Siewierz became part of the Second Polish Republic, from 1939 to 1945 of Nazi Germany. In 1962 it regained its city status.

Pieskowa Skala castle (Poland)

The Castle Pieskowa Skala near Krakow was build by Polish King Casimir the Great in the 14th century and than rebuilt as a palazzo in fortezza in the 16th century.

Chojnik castle

The castle of Chojnik (German Kynast) was originally built by the order of Bolko I (Polish Piast dynasty) in 1292 to protect the borders of his dominion and underwent a reconstruction by the orders of Bolko II starting from 1355.

After Bolko II's death, his wife Agnes von Habsburg sold the castle to one of the courtiers, the knight Gotsche Schoff. Gotsche II Schoff modernized and expanded the castle in 1393. In the same year he donated the Gothic chapel, which was completed in 1403. The chapel was devoted to St. Katharina and St. George, and artful painting were preserved until the middle of the 20th century. The castle survived the next centuries without damages. It was neither affected by the Hussite Wars nor by Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, who destroyed many Silesian castles. In 1529 Ulrich Schaffgotsch I. expanded the building with two forecourts, depots and a pillory, and at the end of the 16th century Renaissance modifications were carried out. In 1635 Hans Ulrich Schaffgotsch lost all his properties being accused of high treason as one of Albrecht von Wallensteins generals. Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, the new owner, added new bastions to the castle in 1648 before giving it back to Christoph Leopold Schaffgotsch, Hans Ulrich's son, in 1650.

During the latter's lifetime the castle burnt down completely after it had been struck by lightning in 1675 and was never reconstructed again. The comital family relocated down into the valley to the old palace in Bad Warmbrunn, and the destroyed castle became a tourist attraction already in the early 18th century. It was visited by the Prussian royal family, Heinrich von Kleist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or Theodor Körner, who immortalized the ruin in one of his poems and made her famous all over Germany. 1822 the Schaffgotschs added a tavern and harbourage to the castle and three years later rebuilt the tower. In the 1920s the old legends, especially the Kunigunden saga, were resuscitated by Waldemar Müller-Erhardt, and in the next years these folk plays were performed there.

The ruins remained in the property of the counts Schaffgotsch until 1945, when the family was expelled.
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Last edited by DocentX; April 5th, 2009 at 03:22 PM.
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