Château de Blanquefort is a ruined castle standing on a spur overlooking the Briolance valley. In the ninth century, a first fortification was built. The white stone gave the fort the name 'White Fort', in Latin Blanca Fortis, which evolved into the modern name Blanquefort. During the Plantagenet holding of Aquitaine, the fortifications were expanded into a royal fortress at the end of the thirteenth century by Edward I of England. At the end of the Hundred Years War, the fortress became French. A wine-producing village grew around the fortifications, probably worked predominantly by serfs.
Most of the buildings date from the Middle Ages, including a keep and gatehouse (13th century), a gun tower (15th century) and two lowered towers (12th and 13th centuries), incorporated into the house.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.