Acquigny sits at the confluence of two rivers: the Eure, formerly navigable to Chartres, and the Iton. The two rivers were dammed and redirected during the twelfth century by the monks of Conches-en-Ouche to power mills in the region. These newly created branches also fed into the castle's moats protecting the Saint-mals monastery and the medieval village located directly behind the current castle.
During the Hundred Year's War, following the imprisonment of Charles II of Navarre in 1356, Acquigny played a notable role. Due its strategic importance it was an important stronghold for both English and French armies. The original castle was situated in the exact location as the current castle and was surrounded by high walls and wide ditches which flowed in the river Eure.
The present castle was built in 1557 by Anne de Laval, widow of Louis Silly, cousin of the king and first lady of honor Catherine de Medici. She wanted the architects Philibert Delorme and Jacques Androuet Hoop to design a castle inspired by the eternal love she bore for her husband. The castle's crest is made from their four initials intertwined. This influence produced a complex and a unique structure of rare elegance. On the center turret there is a superimposed scallop shell in tribute to the Way of St. James. This facade of honor is coated with many other decorative elements that celebrate the exceptional love she held for her family.
The castle was purchased in 1656 by Claude Roux Cambremont. In 1745, Peter Robert Roux Esneval, known as the President of Acquigny and the great grand son of Claude Roux Cambremont, expanded the castle. Peter Robert Roux Esneval employed architect Charles Thibault to rebuild the chapel of Saint-mals as well as stables and sheds. It was at this time that the orangery was built along with the church and the Little Castle that was designed to be attached to a hermitage.
The President of Acquigny was a deeply religious man. After rebuilding the church, he chose to live the remainder of his life as a hermit, while strictly adhering to his religious beliefs and the Grande Trappe. From the pavilion end, he could attend services celebrated in the church. The architecture of this construction is simple, and harmonious. The play of colors - Blue slate and pink brick pink set on white stone - and symmetry play an essential role in the beauty and balance of this monument.
The vast park created during the 17th century follows a circular route. The forest is filled with large chestnut trees over two hundred years old and drawing comparison stopping at a vegetable garden, the orangery and there are around the vegetable, the general route of the water body perpendicular, but the rows of trees and flower beds are symmetrical disappeared. However, beautiful limes or large chestnuts who have freed themselves from their geometric shape beautify the wood. Two major elements, the garden and orangery, regained some of their former glory.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.