The Château de Gizeux is originally dating from the Middle Ages, but much altered over the centuries. Archives indicate the existence of a wooden fortress built in the 11th century in the actual place of the castle. The most remote constructions that we can find nowadays are the entry tower, the right wing and the enclosure. The château belonged to the family of the poet Joachim du Bellay from 1315 to 1660. Later it became the property of several marquises of Gizeux from the family of Contades.
In 1789, during the French Revolution, Prince Louis Gabriel de Contades (1759-1825), opposing the revolutionaries, had to flee from French soil and find refuge in Saint-Domingue. He returned to Gizeux in 1801.
Gizeux represents the mixed medieval and Renaissance style. The château has two large galleries of paintings: the Galerie François Ier (François I) decorated with Italian paintings from the start of the 17th century, and the Grande Galerie des Châteaux decorated with late 17th century paintings.
The park was established in 1829. Nearby a church houses the Du Bellays' splendid tombs. The extremely rare 17th century orants were made of white marble by Ghislain (known as Cambrai), director of the Académie royale de peinture et sculpture in Paris. The Château de Gizeux has been listed since 1945 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.