The Church of Saint-Roch is a late Baroque church built between 1653 and 1740. In 1521, the tradesman Jean Dinocheau had a chapel built on the outskirts of Paris, which he dedicated to Saint Susanna. In 1577, his nephew Etienne Dinocheau had it extended into a larger church. In 1629, it became the parish church and thereafter underwent further work. The first stone of the church of Saint-Roch was laid by Louis XIV in 1653, accompanied by his mother Anne of Austria. Originally designed by Jacques Lemercier, the building's construction was halted in 1660 and was resumed in 1701 under the direction of architect Jacques Hardouin-Mansart, brother of the better-known Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Work was finally completed in 1754.
At the time of the French Revolution, the church of Saint-Roch was often at the centre of events and was the scene of many shootings which have left their mark on the façade. 13 Vendémiaire was one such occasion, this was pivotal in the rise of Napoleon. It was not only the outside of the church that was damaged. During the Revolution it was ransacked, and many works of art were stolen or destroyed. Amongst the missing paintings was one of Dinocheau, a generous donor, who built the first church on this spot.
The church is organized as a series of chapels. One of them is dedicated to Saint Susanna in memory of the church which used to stand in its place. Accordingly, there is a mural painting above the altar, showing Saint Susanna fleeing her attackers, and looking up to the heavens for the help of God. The church is also notable as a result of the marriage there of the Marquis de Sade on May 17, 1763.
Notable tombs in the church included those of Denis Diderot, the Baron d'Holbach, Henri de Lorraine-Harcourt, Pierre Corneille, André le Nôtre, Marie Anne de Bourbon (daughter of Louis XIV) and Marie-Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin.References:
Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.
The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.
In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.
Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.
Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.