Powis Castle is a medieval castle, fortress and grand country house near Welshpool. The seat of the Herbert family, Earls of Powis, the castle is known for its formal gardens and for its interiors, the former having been described as one of the most important in Wales. The castle and garden are under the care of the National Trust. Powis Castle is a Grade I listed building.
The present castle was built in the 13th century. Unusually for a castle on the Marches, it was constructed by a Welsh prince, Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn, rather than by English invaders. Gruffydd was Prince of the ancient Kingdom of Powys and, generally siding with the English rather than his native Welsh during the struggles of the later 13th century, was able to secure the position of his son, Owain, although the kingdom itself was abolished by the Parliament of Shrewsbury in 1283. After his father's death, Owain was raised to the peerage as Owen de la Pole, 1st Lord of Powis. Following his own death c. 1293, and the death of his only son, he was succeeded by his daughter, Hawys Gadarn, 'The Lady of Powis'. Hawys married Sir John Charlton in 1309.
In the late 16th century the castle was purchased by Edward Herbert, a younger son of the Earl of Pembroke, beginning a connection between the family and the castle that continues today. The Herberts remained Catholic until the 18th century and, although rising in the peerage to Earls, Marquesses and Jacobite Dukes of Powis, suffered periods of imprisonment and exile. Despite these vicissitudes, they were able in the late 17th and early 18th centuries to transform Powis from a border fortress into an aristocratic country house, and surround it with one of the very few extant examples of an English Baroque garden.
In 1784 Henrietta Herbert married Edward Clive, eldest son of Clive of India, a match which replenished the much-depleted Herbert family fortune. In the early 20th century, George Herbert, 4th Earl of Powis redeveloped the castle with the assistance of the architect George Bodley. His countess, Violet, undertook work of equal importance in the garden. On the 4th Earl's death in 1952, his wife and his sons having predeceased him, the castle passed into the care of the National Trust.References:
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD.
The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using Pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.