Daugavpils Fortress, also known as Dinaburg Fortress is the only early 19th century military fortification of its kind in Northern Europe that has been preserved without significant alterations. For a long time it was a defense base of the western frontier of the Russian Empire. Planning of the fortress began in 1772 by decree of Tsar Alexander I of Russia, shortly after the First Partition of Poland when Latvia ceded to Russia and construction began during Napoleon"s attack of the Russian Empire in 1810. In 1812, the fortress was attacked by the French Army of 24,000 men. The fortress was still under construction and was defended by 3300 men and 200 cannons.
Construction of the fortress, despite lengthy delays, serious floodings and slow construction work, was completed in 1878. Latvian independence was officially recognised by Soviet Russia in 1920 and between 1920 and 1940 the fortress became home of the Latvian army. During World War II, the hostage camp Stalag 340 was set up in the fortress.
Today fortress is the site of the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art centre.References:
The Château Comtal (Count’s Castle) is a medieval castle within the Cité of Carcassonne, the largest city in Europe with its city walls still intact. The Château Comtal has a strong claim to be called a 'Cathar Castle'. When the Catholic Crusader army arrived in 1209 they first attacked Raymond-Roger Trencavel's castrum at Bèziers and then moved on to his main stronghold at Carcassonne.
The castle with rectangular shape is separated from the city by a deep ditch and defended by two barbicans. There are six towers curtain walls.
The castle was restored in 1853 by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.