Babelsberg Palace lies in the eponymous park and quarter of Potsdam, the capital of the German state of Brandenburg. For over 50 years it was the summer residence of Prince William, later Emperor William I and his wife, Augusta of the House of Saxe-Weimar. On 22 September 1862 in the palace and adjoining park the discussion between King William I and Bismarck took place that ended with the nomination of Bismarck as Minister President and Foreign Minister of Prussia. The building, designed in the English Gothic style, was built in two phases over the period 1835–1849. The contract to plan the palace was given to the architects Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Ludwig Persius and Johann Heinrich Strack.
Babelsberg Palace is managed by the Berlin-Brandenburg Foundation for Prussian Palaces and Gardens (Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg) and is protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site within the Potsdam ensemble. The architecture of Babelsberg Palace formed the template for the construction of Kittendorf Palace between 1848 and 1853 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, by Schinkel's pupil, Friedrich Hitzig.
Since 2013, the Palace is undergoing an intense renovation of its facades and interiors.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.