The Basilica di Sant'Antioco of Bisarcio is one of the largest Romanesque churches in Sardinia. A Catholic diocese with seat in Bisarcium, in what was then the giudicato of Torres (one of the four independent quasi-kingdoms in which Sardinia was divided) or Guisarchium is documented from 1065 to 1503, when it was annexed to that of Alghero. A first cathedral was built here in the late 11th century, but was later damaged by a fire, so that a document from 1139 suggests that the bishop had moved his seat to Ardara. The new cathedral was finished in 1174, when the two storey portico on the façade was completed. Today scanty remains of the medieval village of Bisarcio remain.
The church shows clear influences from the workers who were called to build it, and which belonged to the Lombard and Pisane schools. The portico, inspired by French models, has a lower storey with three rounded arcades, two of which included mullioned window (the left one closed). The middle arcade leads to the narthex, which has six groin vaults supported by cruciform piers. On the narthex' right side is a staircase leading to the upper floor with three rooms, the central of which, provided with an altar, was the private chapel of the bishops of Bisarcio.
Behind the altar is a mullioned window opening towards the interior of the cathedral, sided by two decorative lozenges which can be seen also on the exterior walls of the apse, and are typical of the Pisane Romanesque style. The right room houses instead a characteristic mitre-shaped fireplace.
From the narthex is also accessible the true interior of the church, which has a nave and two aisles divided by columns, with a semicircular apse. The nave is covered by wooden trusses, while the aisles are groin-vaulted. Light is provided by narrow single mullioned windows, six in each side plus another in the apse and two at the end of the aisles.
On the southern side is a bell tower, whose upper part is missing after crumbling down in an unknown date. It has a square plan and is decorated by false columns and Lombard bands, which are also present on the church's external sides and apse.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.