Château de l'Empéri

Salon-de-Provence, France

The Château de l'Empéri is a 9th-century castle built on the rock of Puech which dominates the immense plain of Crau in the commune of Salon-de-Provence. The castle was the residence of the archbishops of Arles as well as the Holy Roman emperors. It is from the latter that the castle derives its name of the Empire which at this time included the East bank of the Rhône River. During 1481, at the time of the junction with Provence, it came under the power of kings of France. Arranged and embellished during the 15th and 16th centuries it was used as jails and barracks after the Révolution time. Hardly damaged by an earthquake in 1909, the buildings were restored by the Monuments Historiques during 1926 and hosted the museum of the old Salon, before hosting now the present museum of Art and History Military.

In the Empéri stayed several kings and queens of France. Francis I and his court, Louis XIV. In 1660 Catherine de' Medici came to consult Nostradamus, the famous astrologer would have predicted the throne for her three sons and the accession of her nephew, the future king Henri IV.

The castle contains faithful representations of the various army corps from the Napoleonic Wars to the present day in its museum. The museum also contains a copy of a bed belonging to Napoleon I at Saint Helena.



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Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

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Kakesbeck Castle

Kakesbeck is one of the largest medieval fortifications in Münsterland and the oldest castle in Lüdinghausen. The imposingly grown complex originated in 1120 as a motte, a small hilltop tower castle. After numerous changes of ownership, the castle was extended onto two islands, but it was not until the 14th century that it underwent significant alterations and extensions under the von Oer family. The estate experienced its heyday in the middle of the 18th century, when it covered an area of almost one square kilometre and consisted of five further outer castles in addition to the core castle, which were secured by ramparts and moats.

The well-maintained condition of the castle today is thanks to the late Wilfried Grewing, the former lord of the castle. The foundation named after him has been particularly committed to preserving the property since 2020.