Château d'Orcher was built to protect the mouth of the River Seine. The square keep was surrounded by a trapezoidal enceinte, defended in the 13th century by three square towers. In 1360 it was partly destroyed on the orders of officials from Harfleur. Rebuilt later, it was taken by the English in 1415 at the same time as Harfleur.
Thomas Planterose took possession of Château d'Orcher in 1735 and over the next ten years set about transforming the castle. He employed master masons François de la Motte and Jacques Lesueur, both from Picardy, and a master plasterer from Caudebec-en-Caux. The elegant woodwork was created by a carpenter Le Roux. The two north towers and the ruins of the great keep in the north-west were demolished, along with the curtain walls. In 1795, following the division of the estate with the death of Madame de Melmont, the property was described as a 'dwelling house castle and accessories and a farm of 145 acres'. In the 19th century, the estate became the property of the Rochechouart family, who had the castle, notably the tower, restored in 1857 by the architect P. Philippon.The castle grounds are open to the public all year. The Château d'Orcher is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. It also includes an imposing square crenellated tower.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.