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:
The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.
The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.
Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.
The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.
Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.
The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.
During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.
In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.