The Château de Comper is medieval castle, which has been rebuilt as a château. The first owner of Comper is supposed have been Salomon, king of Brittany in the 9th century. However the castle has entered in recorded history with the baron Raoul de Gaël-Monfort, who was a companion of William of Normandy during the Battle of Hastings.
During the 13th century, Comper was considered one of the strongest castles in Brittany. For this reason, it has been the object of many battles and sieges. It has also changed owner several times in its history. In 1370, it was devastated by Bertrand du Guesclin.
In the beginning of the 15th century, it became the vassal of the Dukes of Laval. In 1467, the Duke Guy XIV de Laval drew up the charte des usements et coutumes de Brécilien (charter of the uses and customs of Brécelien), which was used to divide the forest into parcels and to define the rights and duties of everyone regarding each parcel. During the 16th century, Comper went to the Rieux family, then to the Coligny family.
The famous episode in the history of Comper took place during the Wars of Religion, between the Catholic League and partisans of the king Henri IV. At the end of 1595, after a long resistance, the Duc de Mercœur's men failed to keep the castle. In reprisal, Henri IV dismantled of the castle three years later. After this, Comper went to the la Trémoille family.
During the Revolution, the revolutionary party burned half of the main building, on January 28, 1790. It was rebuilt during the 19th century by Armand de Charette, whose initials appear on numerous mantelpieces in the castle.The castle is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
The castle was originally square, with towers at each of the four corners, linked by strong curtain walls. At the main door was a drawbridge. Now the moat is dry and the castle houses the exhibitions of the 'Centre de l’imaginaire arthurien', about the Arthurian legend.
The large pond is related to Viviane, the Lady of the Lake. In the legend, she lives in a crystal palace, built by Merlin, hidden under the waters of the lake.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.