The Dominican Priory (Sortebrødrekloster) was an important Dominican monastery in Viborg during the Middle Ages. Viborg Priory was established around 1227 by Bishop Gunnar of Viborg. It is first mentioned in the church annals in 1246 when donations to the priory are listed. The priory church was completed towards the end of the 13th century in red brick in the Gothic style and consisted of a choir, sacristy, and central nave. It was located on the north of the priory so as to be near the town. Women were excluded from the church except during church holidays. It was unusual in that preaching was in the Danish language from 1254.
The priory complex consisted of four ranges built in a rectangle around a central courtyard. One of the wings was a dormitory which had individual cells for the friars and places for novices and lay brothers. The Dominican custom was to sleep fully clothed, including footgear, so that they would be ready to travel at a moment's notice. The chapter room was used for meetings and for receiving important guests. The refectory was used as a communal dining hall connected to the bakery, brewery, and storage areas. The friars had a modest library and study hall. Another wing was for guests and a hospital. Over time, through the gifts of local residents, the priory acquired land, farms and a brickworks, worked by servants, lay brothers or compulsory work owed by local farms. A wall encircled the entire priory, and the entrances were so narrow that they prevented anyone from riding or driving into the open courtyard.
The Reformation brought an end to the priory in Viborg and to the Dominicans in Denmark. Both Franciscans and Dominicans felt the effects of the religious reforms which swept through Denmark in the early 16th century. Many Danes felt that the tithes, fees, and work due to religious houses were a burden on a generally poor country. Dominicans and Franciscans, as mendicant orders, added to that burden by requiring constant donations of food, fuel, drink, and services from the local population. Frederick I and Christian III, both of whom were reform-minded kings, received letters of complaint about the mendicant orders and in 1527 began granting local requests to close monasteries. Force was used to shut down religious houses in 27 town in Denmark, including Viborg. In a letter dated 23 February 1529 the king ordered that the priory should be dissolved, that the church was to become a parish church, and that citizen Jens Hvas was to take possession of the priory buildings as personal property.
A fire damaged the priory buildings in 1552 and it appears they were pulled down and the materials used in other houses and businesses in Viborg. The church continued to serve as the parish church for the southern part of Viborg (whence it was known as the Søndre Sognkirke, or 'southern parish church'). A narrow tower was added to the front of the priory church in 1696-1701 with funds raised by Christen Erichsøn, the local parish priest.
The town fire of 1726 weakened the remaining structure so badly that church officials decided to demolish the church and to combine the 'priory parish' with the 'cathedral parish' until it could be rebuilt. Construction began immediately using the groundplan of the original medieval church in the same style of red brick. Work was substantially completed in 1728. The tower had a high narrow spire on top.
King Frederick IV donated an altarpiece, constructed in Antwerp in 1520 by Mogens Christian Thrane, with dozens of pictures depicting scenes from the New Testament, fromChristianborg Palace chapel in Copenhagen. It is the pride of the modern church. The church was restored in 1876, and the tower spire replaced with a stepped brick top which reflects the usual Danish parish tower architecture. In 1912-1917 the church underwent an even more extensive restoration which is the church that may be still seen today. In the tower hang three bells: the two oldest from 1729 cast by Caspar Kønig, and the most recent cast by De Smithske and added to the tower in 1929.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.