Veste Landskron is a Renaissance water castle built between 1576 and 1579. The construction was started by Ulrich II von Schwerin, member of one of the oldest Pomeranian noble houses. The castle deteriorated due to the impact of the Thirty Years' War, during which the villages around Landskron were burned down, and mismanagement. When the owner Georg Ernst died in 1651, Landskron was inherited by his daughter Anna, who married the Swedish noble von Anrieppe. Their daughter Agnes von Anrieppe married Jürgen von Pentz, who soon abandoned Landskron and in 1699 sold it to Philipp von Schwerin, a nephew of Otto von Schwerin, advisor of the Brandenburgian elector, for 13,000 thalers. Philipp von Schwerin did not rebuild the castle, which had further detoriorated during the Scanian War, but moved his residence to nearby Rehberg.
The ruins of the castle have attracted tourists since the 19th century. In 1852, a tavern was built on the ruins of the kitchen building in the courtyard. This building was occupied until the 1960s, but subsequently demolished. Today, it is a tourist attraction and used as a site for concerts and other events.
The rectangular main building, a keep about 25 metres long and 15 metres wide with three upper stories and a basement, was secured by four round towers attached to its edges, a wall and a moat. One of the keep's towers (Hungerturm) was used as a dungeon to incarcerate abducted people held for ransom. Attached to the keep's eastern front was the entrance building. In front of the entrance to the keep, which could be reached by a drawbridge, laid the courtyard, and both the keep and the courtyard were surrounded by an outer wall and another moat.
In the west, the outer wall was immediately adjacent to the inner moat and comprised five small bastions. The castle was entered through a gatehouse in the northern outer wall, comprising a guardhouse west of the gateway that led to the courtyard, and the stables in its eastern part, where also a well was located. A second drawbridge, made from copper according to legend, spanned the outer moat in front of the gatehouse. Two other separate buildings stood on the courtyard - a chapel to the south and a kitchen to the east. The castle was finished in 1579.
The initial and still most widely used name of the castle was Landskron ('Land's Crown'). Legend tells that the name was frowned upon by the Pomeranian duke, who pressured Ulrich to rename it Lanzkron ('Lance's Crown'), which is also in use as an alternative name.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.