Chateaux of Var

Château d'Hyères

Château d"Hyères was one of the largest castles in Provence. The first mention of the castle dates from 1062. In 1524 and in 1536 the royal armies swept over Provence and Hyères castle was also besieged and conquered. It was reorganised by Charles I of Anjou in 1527 and ultimately dismantled by Louis XIII in a gesture of authority following the destructive religious wars. The castle has been labelled Histo ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Hyères, France

Château d'Entrecasteaux

Château d'Entrecasteaux was originally built in the 11th century, but rebuilt later in the 15th, 16th and 18th centuries. In 1974, after several decades of abandonment, the castle was restored by the British painter Hugh Ian Macgarvie-Munn who turned the castle into a museum.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Entrecasteaux, France

Château De Bargème

The castle in small village of Bargème was constructed in the 13th century. During the Wars of religion it was in hands of Jean-Basptiste de Pontevès, Lord of Callas (1505-1579). In April 1579, the inhabitants of Callas, assisted by a resident named Jacques Sossy, a lieutenant of a Huguenot branch, broke into the castle and killed Pierre de Pontevès, then imprisoned Jean-Baptiste de Pontevès, his wife and his son B ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bargème, France

Château d'Aiguines

Château d"Aiguines was built by the Templars at the request of the Bishop of Riez in the 12th century. It was again rebuilt by Balthazar de Gauthier, local lord from 1596 to 1641. Today castle is privately owned.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Aiguines, France

Château de Vins

Château de Vins was built by Saint Marc Jaumegarde, member of the Garde noble family in the early 16th century. The abandoned castle was restored since 1960.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Vins-sur-Caramy, France

Fort de Brégançon

Perched on a rocky outcrop, this islet had been inhabited since the 2nd century AD. The fortified castle, built in the Merovingian period, and the estate was to have countless occupants before coming under state ownership during the French Revolution. The fort was built in the 13th century and was used for military purposes for most of its life, belonging to a variety of noble families as they fell in and out of power th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bormes-les-Mimosas, France

Château de La Colle Noire

The Château de La Colle Noire is built on a promontory overlooking the plains of Montauroux. The chateau is surrounded by a park with a chapel dedicated to St Anne. The ensemble dates from the middle of the 19th century and was entirely redesigned by Christian Dior from 1950. It has been the property of Parfums Christian Dior since 2013.
Founded: 1826 | Location: Montauroux, France

Château de Pontevès

The Château de Pontevès site is first recorded in a document in 1021 as the property of the monastery of Saint-Victoir in Marseille. Later, the lords of Pontevès progressively developed the site. In 1233 there is mention of a gate to the courtyard and the buildings arranged in the U-shape characteristic of the early 13th century. Further additions between 1560 and 1580 included a new bedroom, a great hall and the no ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Pontevès, France

Château de Saint-Sauveur

On a wooded hilltop just southeast of Rocbaron village are the ruins of Château de Saint-Sauveur. A short hike up from the village visits the ruins and gives you a magnificent view across the land. About 10 minutes up the trail are the ruins of the ancient chapel. Really just the stone walls of the old building sitting in the trees at the edge of a small clearing. Interesting, but the real ruins are another 10-15 minute ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Rocbaron, France

Château de Taurenne

The Château de Taurenne is steeped in history. The castle, founded in the eleventh century, is magnificent and imposing with its 5 round towers. It is the center of an area of 253 hectares located between Aups and Tourtour. The estate has 8500 olive trees.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Aups, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.