The origins of the Calatubo Castle date back to some years before 1093, the year in which Roger I of Sicily defined the boundaries of the diocese of Mazara that included 'Calatubo with all its dependencies'.
In ancient times, around the castle there was the village of Calatubo, which based its business on the extraction of stones for water and wind mills from the quarries around the creek Finocchio, as mentioned by the Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi in The Book of Roger, written in 1154.
The village of Calatubo was abandoned after the conquest by Frederick II and the castle lost its original function as a military fortress, turning into a farm. During this period, the castle joined warehouses, stables and other structures used for the administration of the agricultural fief of Calatubo.
Since the Middle Ages, because of its visibility, the Calatubo Castle had an important strategic role: it was part of a line of towers and forts along the coast from Palermo to Trapani; this defensive line was used to transmit light signals in case of Saracens' attack. In particular, the castle of Calatubo guaranteed the flow of information that took place between the outposts of Carini, Partinico and Castellammare del Golfo.
At the end of the nineteenth century in the second courtyard some warehouses were set up for the production of the wine 'Calatubo'.
The castle remained in good condition until the 1968 Belice earthquake. The use of the structure as a sheepfold and illegal excavations, which had as their targets the finds of the necropolis of the seventh century BC pertaining to the castle, have further ruined the castle. In 2007 it was bought by the municipality of Alcamo and over the past few years.
The Calatubo Castle is actually an architectural complex, consisting of the structure of the original castle that has undergone several changes over the centuries. This complex is large 150×35 meters and stands on a limestone rock that lies at an altitude of about 152 m above sea level and that dominate with its height the surrounding area. From the position of castle you can clearly see Mount Bonifato and the Gulf of Castellammare.
The castle is inaccessible on three sides due to the steep walls of rock on which it is built. The only practicable access is located in the west, which leads to the first line of defense of the castle via a ramp with large steps. From the first line of defense, which includes among other things a well, a church hall and other premises, you can arrive at a court which communicates with the second circle of walls through a portal, up to the third circle of walls, which comprises an oblong tower. Finally the core of the castle, located in the southern part of the fortress, is rectangular with an area of 7×21.50 m.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.