According to legend, Pontivy was founded in 685 AD by an English monk called Ivy who built a wooden bridge across the Blavet, giving the town its name – Pont d’Ivy. The town really began to develop in the 12th century when Viscount Rohan settled there and in the 14th century it became the political and administrative capital of the viscounty.
The main site in Pontivy is its château, which overlooks the River Blavet a short walk from the town centre. The present castle was built in 1485 by Viscount Rohan, whose aristocratic line dates back to 1120. The Rohan family seat has seen plenty of action during its 500-year history including being besieged during the Duchy of Brittany War of Independence in 1488 and taken over by Catholic forces during the French Wars of Religion in 1589. The château, which retains many original features, is open to the public and often stages art exhibitions.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.