Located near the Regional Archaeological Museum, the Acropolis of Gela is one of the most important archaeological sites in Sicily. The area was already occupied in prehistoric times by indigenous settlements dating from between the 4th and 2nd millennia BC. After a period of neglect, this site was occupied again around the 8th century BC by a small settlement prior to the founding of Gela, a proto-colony which had been given the name of Lindioi, as reported by historians Thucydides and Herodotus. Lindioi was therefore a first outpost-emporium that paved the way to the foundation of Gela by the Rhodians led by Antiphemus and the Cretans led by Entimus.
In the first half of the 8th century BC, some buildings were built in this area, such as a sacellum dedicated to Athena Lindia, the patron goddess of the city, whose remains were then incorporated into the foundations of a second temple built during the 6th century BC, which is still dedicated to Athena.
It was in the 5th century BC that the acropolis underwent its greatest transformation. Under the Deinomenids, tyrants of the city, an important project of monumentalization was started through the construction of imposing buildings. In 480 BC, following the victory of the Greeks over the Carthaginians in the Great Battle of Himera, the tyrant Hieron of Gela decided to build a new temple dedicated to Athena, of which only one column remains today. The sacred building, with a peristasis of 6 x 12 columns, was adorned with marble elements imported from the Cyclades, decorated with polychrome motifs. The other buildings in the area were also magnificently enriched with architectural elements, such as equestrian acroteria and terracotta antefixes.
The acropolis, as proven by some layers of rubble, was destroyed in 405 BC after the city was looted by the Carthaginians led by Himilko. A stoa (market) was installed by reusing materials and remains of the ancient temples, between the end of the 5th and the first half of the 4th century BC, which can still be seen in the the well-preserved structures located on the north side.Following the refoundation of Gela (339 BC) by Timoleon on the west side of the hill, the area of the acropolis was definitively abandoned. There were only a few columns left from the ancient primeval site , of which historical traces remain in the tales by Al-Idrisi (12th century AD) and Guido delle Colonne (13th century AD).References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.