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:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.