The present Château de La Roche-Guyon was built in the 12th century, controlling a river crossing of the Seine. In the mid-13th century, a fortified manor house was added below. Guy de La Roche fell at the Battle of Agincourt, and his widow was ousted from the Roche, after six months of siege, in 1419; she preferred to depart rather than accept Henry Plantagenet as her overlord. It came to the Liancourt family with the marriage of Roger de Plessis-Liancourt to the heiress Marie de La Roche; he was a childhood companion of Louis XIII, first gentleman of the Chambre du Roi, and was made a duke in 1643. He and his wife made great changes to the château-bas, opening windows in its structure and laying out the terrace to the east, partly cut into the mountain's steep slope.
The domain of La Roche-Guyon came to the La Rochefoucauld family in 1669, with the marriage of Jeanne-Charlotte de Plessis-Liancourt with François VII de La Rochefoucauld. The Château retained its medieval aspect of a fortress, with its moat and towers and cramped, dark living apartments. The Château was largely extended in the 18th century.
After D-Day in World War II, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel defended Normandy against the Allies in World War II from a bunker located here. The castle also was Rommel's headquarters.
Restorations and archaeological surveys undertaken after 1990 by the Conservatoire régional des Monuments historiques revealed new additions to the documentary history of La Roche-Guyon, undertaken in the 19th century by Hippolyte Alexandre and Emile Rousse.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.