The fine early Renaissance château is located on the edge of the Forêt d’Ivoy. The land was given to the Scot Sir John Stuart by Charles VII, in thanks for defeating the English at the battle of Baugé in 1421. However, the château was not built until the end of the 15th century, at which time Béraud Stuart, the grandson of John Stuart, returning from a campaign in Italy, constructed the main house to the side of the Chapel, that joined onto the Renaissance Gallery, which was built in 1525 by Robert Stuart, the son-in-law of Béraud Stuart and a comrade-in-arms of Bayard.
In 1670, the last Stuart of Aubigny died and the Château de La Verrerie, as laid down in King Charles VII deed of donation, was returned to the French crown. King Louis XIV, acting on a decree of 18 March 1673, gave the land back to Charles II, King of England, who was the direct male descendant of John Stuart. In the same year, at his request, it was given as a gift to his mistress, Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth.
La Verrerie has a lovely Renaissance gallery with 16th century frescoes. There are also frescoes in the chapel, dating from the same period.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.