Through the Nádasdy family, the castle of Sárvár, now called Nádasdy Castle, played a significant role in the progress of Hungarian culture in the 16th and 17th centuries. The first Hungarian book, The New Testament of 1541, was printed here. The knight's hall of the castle is decorated with the battle scenes of Lord Chief Justice Ferenc Nádasdy (married to the notorious Elizabeth Báthory) and with scenes from the Old Testament.
The Nádasdy Castle and estate later became a property of the kings of Bavaria, and the former King Ludwig III died there in 1921, three years after being deposed. During the Second World War, the castle was used as the retreat of Ludwig's grandson Prince Albert of Bavaria.
The present day castle has developed from the three-storey, 13th century dwelling tower in its southwest corner and the single-storey northern wing. The castle’s first mention is from 1288. The next great building operations took place in the second half of the 15th century, in Gothic style. During the times of the Kanizsai family a three-storey dwelling structure adorned with representative objects and suitable for nobility was raised where the southern wing stands today. The lower level of the present-day gate-tower was created at the end of the 15th century. By the beginning of the 16th century the large, closed courtyard came into existence, while the castle’s protection, apart from its natural assets, was assured by earth ramparts with notched planks. Between 1534 and 1671 the Nádasdy family owned the castle. As a result of the Renaissance style constructions the castle’s current form took shape.
The ceiling frescoes of the Great Hall were done in 1653. The defensive system of Old Italian style bastions that can be seen today was built between 1588 and 1615. The ceiling frescoes of the Great Hall were created by Hans Rudolf Miller, while the wall pictures depicting images from the Old Testament were painted by István Dorffmeister in 1769. In 1803, the Archduke Ferdinand Estei bought the castle, which was renovated by his successor. The Renaissance arcade along the eastern wing was walled up. On the wing’s upper level corridors were built, so that the castle could be walked around. The water was drained from the castle moat, and the present-day bridge was built. During the 19th and 20th centuries only minor alterations took place, so even today the castle presents an image of the fortified late Renaissance castles of the 16th-17th centuries.References:
Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.
Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.
Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.