Hardtburg Castle, situated 245 metres above sea-level in the Hardtwald forest, is a very unusual castle, compared with other castles and farms. It was founded in the 11th century, which makes it one of the oldest local buildings. The two-part castle is surrounded on all sides by a moat and is situated at some distance from the nearest town. At the centre of the main castle is a hill excavated from the side of the valley, on which a square stone tower has always stood.
Today it retains the character of a medieval moated castle, as it has not been altered since its completion in the 14th century. Originally it belonged to the Earl of Are-Hochstaden; after his decease his last descendant, Earl Konrad von Hochstaden, Archbishop of Cologne, inherited the estate. Since the 17th it has progressively fallen into disrepair, due to lack of maintenance. Towards the end of the 18th century ownership was transferred to the Finance Ministry of France; around 1815 the State of Prussia established a forestry office here.
Today it belongs to the State of North Rhine/Westphalia and serves as the residence of the Hardtwald Forester.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.