The Escher Museum (Escher in the Palace) is a museum featuring the works of the Dutch graphical artist M. C. Escher. The museum is housed in a former palace Lange Voorhout Palace dating from the 18th century. Queen Emma (Emma of Waldeck Pyrmont) bought the stately house in 1896. She used it as a winter palace from March 1901 till her death in March 1934. Four Dutch Queens used the palace for their business offices, till Queen Beatrix moved the office to Paleis Noordeinde, about 10 minutes walk from Escher in Het Paleis. In all the former 'Royal Rooms' first and second floor there are window shades with information about the interior in Emma's time. There are two rooms dedicated to Emma's period and often there are photo enlargements or other information about Queen Mother Emma on display besides the never-ending Escher exhibition.
The museum features a permanent display of a large number of woodcuts and lithographs by Escher, among them the world famous prints Air and Water, Belvedere and Waterfall. Escher in Het Paleis shows the early lovely Italian landscapes, the many mirror prints and a choice from the tesselation drawings, further the three versions of the Metamorphosis, from the first small one to the third of 7 meters. This one is shown in a circle. It underlines the new vision of the museum on the work of M.C. Escher.
The third floor of the museum is dedicated to the Optical Illusion, besides the famous Escher Room in which grownups seem to be smaller than their children one's eyes will be tricked by multiple interactive dispays.
In the rooms of the museum are fifteen chandeliers made by the Rotterdam artist Hans van Bentem. The artist designed these especially for the museum, with some references to the work of Escher and the Palace. In the ballroom, a star chandelier is endlessly reflected in the two mirrors. In other rooms there are chandeliers such as a shark, a skull, spiders, and a sea horse.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.