Genhoes Castle was first mentioned in 1041. Then it was probably just a fortified tower house. In 1381 it was owned by a Johan van Alden-Valkenborch. Before 1444 it came into the hands of Jan 't Zievel. He left it to his son-in-law Hendrik van Ghoor. He, or his son Willem, probably built the present square tower and the west wing. The walls of the tower are around 1.6 meters thick. He also built a gate tower, which has disappeared, at the site of the present gate arch to the bailey. It may be possible that the castle had been destroyed shortly before, during the Burgundian wars under Emperor Maximillian of Austria. Then followed almost 150 years of family disputes and lawsuits which resulted in the assignment of the castle to the King of Spain as Lord of the Southern Netherlands in 1661.
In 1701 the castle was bought by Georg, Baron of Tunderfeld. He was born in Latvia and had served as a general-major in the service of Emperor Leopold I of Austria. In 1749 the castle was again sold, but now to Leonard Thimus, a cloth manufacturer from Aachen. He built the front wing and the arched bridge on medieval foundations thus creating the L-shaped castle we see today. Beneath the entrance was a prison that fell out of use in 1670. His son-in-law Johann Friedrich von Pelser, Lord of Berensberg built the present U-shaped bailey.
In 1814 Oud-Valkenburg was definitely added to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1944 the castle was continuously occupied by retreating German soldiers. The castle is now owned by Natuurmonumenten; an association for nature conservation and environmental protection. They rent the castle out and it is now used as a farm. The castle is private property and thus can not be visited.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.