Le Rœulx Castle, also known as the Château des Princes de Croÿ, is family seat of the Comtes de Croÿ-Rœulx. The origins of the castle date to a fortified structure from the 11th century. It was redeveloped in the 16th century by Adrien de Croÿ and most of the castle was destroyed in the middle of the same century. Views from the very beginning of the 17th century show a house made up of a main accommodation section and two towers that are radically different from the current castle, which is the result of conversion works carried out in the second half of the 18th century.
The building itself, which evokes a certain French-style classicism, mixes both sources of local inspiration (a mixture of brick and stone) and also the Germanic (tending towards the horizontal). The result is a U-shape consisting of a main wing and side wings enclosing a main courtyard. The junction between these wings and the façade is unusual as a result of the convex structures placed in the corner. The central section of the building, which has a frontage with balcony and dome in the centre of a symmetrical composition, houses a vestibule displaying some traces of the previous building, as well as a majestic and profusely decorated main staircase, as well as the stairwell lit by the skylight, with décor in Rocaille style. Finally, the remarkable main drawing room is exquisite testament to the decorative style of the 18th century.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.