Château de Regnéville is a ruined castle, intended to protect the important dry harbour of Regnéville-sur-Mer. The fortress was founded in the 12th century and the major remains date from the 14th century. It was then composed of an upper courtyard in the east, whose foundations were partially revealed at the time of the excavations carried out in 1991 to 1993. The large tower, of which there remain only two of the four sides, was located at the north-east of this upper courtyard. In the west, facing the harbour, the lower courtyard was originally the royal residence of Charles the Bad.
In 1336, the fiefdom of Regnéville passed into the hands of the Navarre. In 1349, Charles the Bad, king of Navarre, inherited the Norman possessions of his father, the count of Evreux. In 1364, Charles V ascended the French throne. The supproters of Charles the Bad, allied with the English, held Normandy, relying on numerous castles. Regnéville received important work to reinforce its fortifications. At the beginning of May 1378, the fortress of Regnéville was taken by French troops. After the death of Charles V in 1380, his son Charles VI returned his lands to Charles the Bad. Eveentually, Regnéville left the Navarrese inheritance to finally join the kingdom of France.
In March 1418, the Duke of Gloucester seized the castle. In 1435, the captain of the castle was Hue Spencer. He was the bailiff of Cotentin for the king of England, combining high administrative office and military command. Until 1448, he made Regnéville his residence. On 19 September 1449, the fortress was retaken from the English by the constable of Richemont.
In 1603, the fiefdom of Regnéville was sold to Isaac de Piennes, lord of Bricqueville. In 1626, King Louis XIII ordered the demolition of the fortifications of cities and castles which were not at the borders of France or considered to be important to the kingdom. The castle was rased in 1637. The keep, filled with powder, burst and split from top to bottom, along the spiral staircase. The lords of Piennes lived in the place until the 18th century. In the middle of the 19th century, Victor Bunel installed a mechanical sawmill for cutting marble in the former lower courtyard. The castle was acquired by the Conseil Général de la Manche (département council) in 1989. It was classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture in 1991. The restoration of the castle, undertaken in 1994, seeks to restore the appearance at the time of Roulland de Gourfaleur, at the end of the 16th century.
In the north-eastern corner of the upper courtyard of the castle is a rectangular tower some 20 metres (~65 ft) in height, the thickness of the walls exceeding three metres. Four storeys, including three arched, were served by a spiral staircase, rebuilt in the 16th century and still visible nowadays. At the ground floor, a cellar was used to store supplies. In the 16th century, Roulland de Gourfaleur made bays in the western and southern sides of the keep. These openings led to a balcony supported by a pair of large double corbels.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.