The Château de Plessis-lez-Tours is a Renaissance château located in the town of La Riche. It was the favorite residence of King Louis XI of France, who died there on 30 August 1483. It was also the scene of the first meeting between King Henry III of France and the future King Henry IV of France.
The present building is only a small part of the château originally built by Louis XI in the 15th century. The original château had three wings in the shape of a U. The room where Louis XI died can be visited. It has wooden panelling in the style called 'napkin folds' popular in the 15th century. The first floor has paintings and sculpture devoted to St. Francis of Paola, whom Louis XI summoned to live near him until his death. Inside the château is a display of iron cages which were suspended from the ceiling and used to hold prisoners. The cages were so small that the prisoners were unable to stand.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.