In 1494 Louis Picart, magistrate of Troyes and Tournaisis, friend and chamberlain of King Louis XII with whom he went to Italy, undertook the construction of the Château d'Ételan. It was built on the site of a fortress which has been destroyed under the order of Louis XI. Of the medieval construction, only the cellar, the castle wall and the guard house dating from 1350 remain.
The castle was later converted to a 15th-century flamboyant gothic mansion. The building consists of two dwellings built from layers of bricks and stones and joined together by a magnificent stone staircase dating from the first Renaissance. As integral part of the main building, the Chapel, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, include stained glass windows, wall paintings and statues which characterised the first Norman Renaissance.
History or legend tells us that several kings and famous people have spent time at Ételan like Louis XI, Frans I, Catherine de' Medici, Charles IX with the future kings Henry III and Henry IV and later Voltaire (1723–1724).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.