Château de Langoiran was built in the 13th century by the Escoussans family, one of the most famous families of Gascony. The donjon (fortified central tower) is one of the largest in France. It overlooks the Garonne Valley and offers a good view for visitors.
The castle of Langoiran was owned successively by the families of Escoussans, Albret (from 1345 to 1378), and Montferrand (from 1378 to 1590). Bertrand III de Montferrand was Soudan de la Trau. He married Isabelle de Preissac, daughter of Arnaud de Preissac, Soudan de La Trau, (member of the Order of the Garter) and Marguerite of Stratton (daughter of John of Stratton).
After being ruined by multiple unsuccessful wars, the owners were forced to sell their land and the castle to a gentry family from Bordeaux: the Arnoulds. The castle of Langoiran and its seignory were mentioned as early as the 11th century. The older parts of the remaining castle date from the 13th century and the Renaissance.
The seignory of Langoiran was one of the most famous and powerful of the Duchy of Aquitaine. For centuries, it had been involved in quarrels between the kings of France and England, both hoping to obtain its accession. When the Duchy of Aquitaine belonged to the English kings and not to the Kingdom, the successors of Henry II Plantagenet were called 'Kings of England and Aquitaine'.
The Lords of Langoiran always supported the King-Duke, other than Bérard d'Albret, who had to fight at the end of his life on behalf of the King of France.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.