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:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.