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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.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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