The Piotrków Trybunalski Royal Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance structure, today a museum. The stronghold on the left bank of the Strawa River existed in the 13th century. The conventions, which were held here in the 14th century gave the city greater importance in the Kingdom of Poland and according to contemporary chronicler Jan of Czarnków, Casimir III the Great ordered a residence to be built here, which was accomplished in 1347. It consist of the royal council, called the senate, and the chamber of deputies.
In the following years the building become inadequate for the purposes of the royal court. Therefore, the court architect of king Sigismund I the Old, Benedykt Sandomierski erected a new residence, which was completed in 1519. The new residence was built in the Renaissance style in the shape of a residential square tower. The structure was crowned with a profusely decorated attic. In the 16th century, the castle was the site of frequent regional councils and synods. During the Deluge the it was burned by Swedish-Brandenburgian troops. The reconstruction took place between 1668–1671 supervised by Michał Warszycki, sword-bearer of the Crown. The fortifications were not restored as well as the demolished attic, and the whole structure was crowned with a pavilion roof.
With the Second Partition of Poland the castle again fell into disrepair. in 1869 the Russian Governor of Piotrków undertook a restoration to convert the former royal residence into a garrison Orthodox church. The building suffered again during World War II. After the war the Regional Conservator recommended to rebuild the castle by the state before Warszycki's reconstruction, restoring its Renaissance features. Eventually the structure was rebuilt between 1963–1969, without restoring the Renaissance attic.References:
The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.
The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.
From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.