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Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

January 21st, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Neuschwanstein Castle (German: Schloss [formerly Schloß] Neuschwanstein, lit. New Swan Stone palace is a 19th century Bavarian palace. Located on a mountain top in Germany, near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, the palace was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. Although photography of the interior is not permitted, it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations.

It is in good shape and because of its fairy tale-like looks it is sometimes called the Cinderella Castle. Its remarkable, prominent though idyllic look on the mountain hill caused the palace to appear in movies several times. The palace has been open to the public since 1886.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Krak des Chevaliers - a Crusader fortress, Syria

January 21st, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Krak des Chevaliers, also transliterated Crac des Chevaliers pronounced, is a Crusader fortress in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval military castles in the world. In Arabic, the fortress is called Qal'at al-Ḥiṣn, the word Krak coming from the Syriac karak, meaning fortress. It is located 65 km west of the city of Homs, close to the border of Lebanon, and is administratively part of the Homs Governorate.

Krak des Chevaliers was the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. It was expanded between 1150 and 1250 and eventually housed a garrison of 2,000. The inner curtain wall is up to 100 feet thick at the base on the south side, with seven guard towers 30 feet in diameter.

King Edward I of England, while on the Ninth Crusade in 1272, saw the fortress and used it as an example for his own castles in England and Wales. The fortress was described as “perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world” by T.E. Lawrence. This fortress was made a World Heritage Site, along with Qal’at Salah El-Din, in 2006 and is owned by the Syrian government. The fortress is one of the few sites where Crusader art (in the form of frescoes) has been preserved.

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Książ Castle, Walbrzych, Poland

January 21st, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Książ (other names include Fürstenstein Castle, Wistenberch, Vorstinberech, Vorstinburg and Fürstenberg) is a castle in Silesia, Poland near the town of Wałbrzych. It was first mentioned in the 13th century.

According to a legend, a poor squire, named Frederick of Strzegom, had accidentally discovered strange black stones which, once thrown into a fire, would start sparks, and give off heat and light. He took a bag full of the mysterious stones and presented them to the German Emperor. Upon seeing the power of the mysterious black stones with his own eyes, the Emperor knighted Frederick with the name Funkenstein. The Emperor showed him where to build a gord and to protect the black treasure (coal) of the land. According to the legend, this settlement became Fürstenstein castle.

The original fortification was destroyed in the year 1263 by Ottokar II. Bolko I, Duke of Świdnica and Jawor built a new castle between 1288 and 1292. Duke Bolko II died in 1368 without having children with his wife Agnes von Habsburg. After her death in the year 1392 king Wenzel IV of Bohemia obtained the castle. In 1401 Janko von Chotiemitz obtained the castle. The Bohemian Hussites occupied the castle between 1428-1429. In the year 1464 Birka von Nassidel obtained the castle from the Bohemian crown. He sold it to Hans von Schellendorf. This second castle was destroyed 1482 by Georg von Stein. In the year 1509 Konrad I von Hoberg (from 1714: Hochberg) obtained the castle hill. The Hochberg family owned the castle until 1941. The castle was occupied by the Red army in 1945. Most artifacts were lost or destroyed.

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Royal Castle in Poznań, Poland

January 9th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Royal Castle in Poznań (Polish: Zamek Królewski w Poznaniu) dates from 1249 and the reign of Przemysł I. One of the largest castles in Poland, it was largely destroyed during the Second World War but has since been partly rebuilt.

Construction of the castle was probably started by Przemysł I in 1249 on hill later called Góra Zamkowa (Castle Mountain, Latin mons castrenis), and now better known as Góra Przemysława (Hill of Przemysł (or Przemysław)). The first building was a habitable tower made of bricks with a whell inside, and the rest of the hill was surrounded by a rampart with a palisade. A small ducal residence was incorporated into the system of city walls in the late 13th century.

The son of Przemysł I, Przemysł II, hoping for reunification of Poland under his rule decided to build a larger castle, more proper for a king. In 1295 Przemysł became king of Poland, but he was assassinated a year later. The castle wasn't finished. Work started by Przemysł was continued by a branch of the Piasts from Głogów ruling in Greater Poland, and finished before 1337. The castle served as the residence of prince Casimir, then-governor of Greater Poland.

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Castle of the Teutonic Knights in Lebork, Poland

December 24th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Castle of the Teutonic Knights in Lebork, Poland. Built in XIV century.

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Castle of the Teutonic Knights in Golub Dobrzyn, Poland

December 24th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Castle of the Teutonic Knights, built at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, later rebuilt and extended in the 15th century. Between 1616 and 1623 it was a residence of Anna of Finland; during this period a Renaissance attic was added. The castle was destroyed during the The Deluge. In the 19th century, it was neglected and a gale caused the collapse of its attic. After 1945 the castle was rebuilt and renovated.

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Znachor movie place, Radziejowice, Poland

December 23rd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Znachor (folk healer) - movie place in Radziejowice, Poland.

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The castle ruins in Ogrodzieniec, Poland

December 23rd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Ogrodzieniec is town Zawiercie County, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland, with 4,499 inhabitants (2004).

It is noted for the extensive ruins of a medieval castle, damaged during the Swedish invasion of Poland in the years 1655–1660.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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