Situated in the port of Pornic, Château de Pornic has long been a symbol of the town. The castle is privately owned and not open to the public. The castle is bordered on one side by the sea and is constructed on a defensive site. In the Middle Ages, it provided for the defence of the port.
In the 10th century, Alan Wrybeard, Duke of Britanny, built and fortified a wooden castle. It was occupied by a garrison who protected the entrance to Pornic. In the 12th century, it was the property of the Lords of Rais who rebuilt it in stone. In the 15th century, it belonged to Gilles de Rais but was confiscated by the Duke of Britanny at the time of his trial. In the 18th century, it belonged to Marquis de Brie Serrant whose properties were confiscated during the French Revolution. The castle fell into ruin. The castle was bought at the end of the 19th century by Monsieur Lebreton, founder of the seawater baths, and restored by the architect François Bougoüin who gave it its present appearance with its fully arched windows dressed in brick in the style of the Italian architecture of the Château de Clisson.References:
Medvedgrad is a medieval fortified town located on the south slopes of Medvednica mountain, approximately halfway from the Croatian capital Zagreb to the mountain top Sljeme. For defensive purposes it was built on a hill, Mali Plazur, that is a spur of the main ridge of the mountain that overlooks the city. On a clear day the castle can be seen from far away, especially the high main tower. Below the main tower of the castle is Oltar Domovine (Altar of the homeland) which is dedicated to Croatian soldiers killed in the Croatian War of Independence.
In 1242, Mongols invaded Zagreb. The city was destroyed and burned to the ground. This prompted the building of Medvedgrad. Encouraged by Pope Innocent IV, Philip Türje, bishop of Zagreb, built the fortress between 1249 and 1254. It was later owned by bans of Slavonia. Notable Croatian and Hungarian poet and ban of Slavonia Janus Pannonius (Ivan Česmički) died in the Medvedgrad castle on March 27, 1472.
The last Medvedgrad owners and inhabitants was the Gregorijanec family, who gained possession of Medvedgrad in 1562. In 1574, the walls of Medvedgrad were reinforced, but after the 1590 Neulengbach earthquake, the fortress was heavily damaged and ultimately abandoned. It remained in ruins until the late 20th century, when it was partly restored and now offers a panoramic view of the city from an altitude of over 500 meters.