Halmstad Castle (Halmstads slott) is a 17th-century castle dating from the time when Halland was a province of Denmark. In 1595 the farm on the site where the castle now stands was purchased for use as a residence for the Danish Christian IV on his visit to Halmstad. It was under the authority of King Christian that the castle was constructed.
Construction on the castle and nine adjoining lots started in 1609. Construction was likely completed in 1615. Construction Manager and architect was Dutch architect Willum Cornelissen. The architecture of the castle is typical for the period, in a style known as Christian IV Renaissance. It is more reminiscent of contemporary Danish country houses than an elegant royal palace.
With the Second Treaty of Brömsebro (1645), and finally the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the castle came under the authority of Bengt Christoffersson Lilliehook, the first Swedish governor of Halland. When Halland became a province of Sweden, Halmstad Castle become a residence of visiting Swedish kings. The Swedes reinforced the castle and in 1658 was an inner fortress finished and the facade had been much smaller window.
From 1770 and until today, the castle has been restored several times. In modern times it has become the traditional residence of the governor of Halland County. The governor of the castle and the local authority have some of its offices here. In 1999 Music of Halland (Musik i Halland) moved in and during 2000 Halmstad Tourist (Halmstads Turistbyrå) established its offices in the east wing.References:
The two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheatre was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting as well as plays and concerts in summer.
The building measures 136 m in length and 109 m wide, and features 120 arches. It has an oval arena surrounded by terraces, arcades on two levels (60 in all), bleachers, a system of galleries, drainage system in many corridors of access and staircases for a quick exit from the crowd. It was obviously inspired by the Colosseum in Rome (in 72-80), being built slightly later (in 90).
With the fall of the Empire in the 5th century, the amphitheatre became a shelter for the population and was transformed into a fortress with four towers (the southern tower is not restored). The structure encircled more than 200 houses, becoming a real town, with its public square built in the centre of the arena and two chapels, one in the centre of the building, and another one at the base of the west tower.
This new residential role continued until the late 18th century, and in 1825 through the initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée, the change to national historical monument began. In 1826, expropriation began of the houses built within the building, which ended by 1830 when the first event was organized in the arena - a race of the bulls to celebrate the taking of Algiers.
Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other Roman buildings of the city, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.