The Château de Sully-sur-Loire is a castle converted to a palatial seigneurial residence. The château is the seat of the duc de Sully, Henri IV's minister Maximilien de Béthune (1560–1641), and the ducs de Sully. It is a château-fort, a true castle, built to control one of the few sites where the Loire can be forded; the site has perhaps been fortified since Gallo-Roman times, certainly since the beginning of the eleventh century. In 1218, Philip Augustus constructed a cylindrical keep to the south of the present enclosure, of which buried foundations remain. Guy de la Trémoille, inheriting the fortress, undertook the construction of the Donjon, flanked by four towers, beginning in 1395. The smaller side was added in the 16th century to provide more agreeable accommodation. Sully bought the domaine in 1602, enlarged the park and the fortress; he strengthened the embankments of the Loire to protect the town from occasional flooding.
The Château de Sully-sur-Loire remained in the possession of the family until 1962 when it became a property of the Département du Loiret, and has since benefited from numerous restorations. It hosts a classical music festival each June. The château contains numerous tapestries, including a set of six 17th century hangings, paintings of Sully's ancestors and heirs, and 17th century furnishings. Here is also the tomb of Sully and that of his second wife.
Henri IV never visited, but Mazarin and Anne of Austria took refuge here in March 1652 during the rigors of the Fronde, France's civil war. Turenne stayed here the same year, before his defeat of the Grand Condé at the battle of Bléneau. Later, in 1716 and again in 1719 the château sheltered Voltaire, when he had been exiled from Paris for affronting the Régent, Philippe, duc d'Orléans.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.