The Archaeological site of Mount Bonifato is located in Alcamo. According to Licofrone of Alexandria, there was a village called Longuro on Mount Bonifato of Alcamo in ancient times. This settlement had been founded by a colony of Greeks who had escaped from Troy.
The archeological site was probably inhabited from the 7th century BCE to the 12th century AD. From the 6th century BCE Mount Bonifato very probably had the status of a satellite to the nearby town of Segesta. Further, the site shows unusual traces of human settlement during the period of the Roman Empire. After the 3rd-2nd century B.C. the Romans directed their interest towards the vale of the mount and along the coast of the gulf of Castellammare, to the west along the valley of the Fiume Freddo (later Fiume Caldo), and to the east to the valley of the Finocchio and Calatubo torrents.
The walls brought to light testify to a continuous presence from the 9th century on. When the Arabs came to Mount Bonifato, they chose to build their houses in the same place where those of former periods had stood. Moreover they found a safe place here, and adequate resources for a lifestyle suited to their family units, thanks to the presence of water.
The cisterns of the medieval era date back to the 13th century. The date is confirmed by the construction techniques used and by the finding of green glazed ceramics of that period. The work on their recovery and restoration involved the removal of the humus and other material which completely filled both cisterns. Cistern A, about 4 metres high and 6 metres long, was used by various unicellular houses. Cistern B, which is smaller than the other, is about 2.85 metres by 4.30 metres.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.