According the tradition the first castle in Bricquebec was built by Anslec with Scandinavian origin, who was related to the Duke of Normandy, William Longsword. Later Bricquebec Castle was owned by Robert I Bertran, who accompanied William the Conqueror in the conquest of England in 1066. His son, Robert II Bertran, is believed to have taken part in the taking of Jerusalem during the First Crusade in 1096. After the annexation of Normandy by the King of France, Philippe II Auguste, in 1204, the Bertrans did homage to him, for fifteen noble fiefs held from their barony of Bricquebec.
Myth has it that in 1270 the Knights Templar, who already had numerous other possessions in the area, founded a commandery in the castle, based on the architectural layout of the castle. The 13th century, 22 meters high, 11-sided keep stands on a 17 meters high motte and its outer walls resemble the octagonal geometry which was characteristic of the Order.
After the death of the last of the Bertrans, Bricquebec Castle went to the Paisnel family through marriage. During the 14th century the plague and famines ravaged the Cotentin peninsula and it was also the scene of multiple skirmishes between French, English and Navarrian troops. In 1418 the castle was occupied by the troops of King Henry V of England. Given to William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, then sold by him to captain Bertin Entwistle, the castle stayed under English rule until 1450. In 1452 Louis d'Estouteville took possession of the castle.
In the 16th century the barons of Bricquebec abandoned the castle in favor of their newer manors. In 1857 the castle was visited by Queen Victoria of England and in 1957 by Field Marshall Montgoméry.
At present there is a hotel inside the castle which has its website at Hostellerie du Château Bricquebec. The keep, amongst other parts of the castle, can be visited during summer months.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.