Château de la Guyonnière

Beaulieu-Sous-Parthenay, France

Château de la Guyonnière dates back to the 14th century, with later modifications in the 15th and 16th centuries while retaining a distinctive feudal appearance. It forms a quadrilateral with corner towers, one of which houses a dovecote. Access is through a fortified gate.

The gardens, accessible via a drawbridge forming a postern, are surrounded by deep moats and consist of nine medieval-inspired squares. These gardens feature a mix of flowers, vegetables, honey plants, medicinal and aromatic plants, fruits, old roses, shrubs, and fruit trees.

The two-hectare gardens comprise a contemporary garden created in 1987 by landscape architect Alain Richet, respecting medieval spirit. Divided into nine themed enclosures beyond the castle's moats, it sits on the site of the 14th-century 'ouche,' forming an island surrounded by deep moats fed by springs. To access it, visitors cross the moats via a functional pedestrian drawbridge from a passage between the castle and its stables.


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The Church of the Holy Cross

The church of the former Franciscan monastery was built probably between 1515 and 1520. It is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Rauma. The church stands by the small stream of Raumanjoki (Rauma river).

The exact age of the Church of the Holy Cross is unknown, but it was built to serve as the monastery church of the Rauma Franciscan Friary. The monastery had been established in the early 15th century and a wooden church was built on this location around the year 1420.

The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.