Crosskirk Broch was a fortification near the present day hamlet of Crosskirk. After thorough archaeological exploration it was destroyed in 1972 since the site had become unsafe due to sea erosion. The site was unusual in having a broch, a large circular fortification, built within an older promontory fortification with a ring wall and blockhouse.
Crosskirk was occupied at the end of the Bronze Age. From the early Iron Age that followed there is carinated pottery that appears to be locally made but is similar to pottery of the same period in southern and eastern England. A few samples are black-burnished. Uncorrected radiocarbon dates for this pottery are in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. There seems to be a discontinuity in the middle Iron Age when the buildings were reconstructed and new types of pottery and artifacts were introduced, although variants of some of the older styles continued. This may be interpreted as being due to the infux of some influential new population.
Further use of local pottery continued into the period of Roman occupation of the south of Scotland in 80-180 AD. There were also remains of Roman pottery and glassware that may have been Roman in origin. A body was buried in a sitting position in the middle of an approximately circular building around the time that the site was abandoned. No grave goods were found.
There are traces of two long cist burials in the debris of the broch from some time around 600 AD. There used to be a stone with a runic inscription at Crosskirk, now lost, dating from the period of the Norse raiders in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries. St Mary's Chapel (Crosskirk), built around the 13th century and now ruined, is about 27 m south of the site. Some of the land south of the broch was levelled when St Mary's was built. In recent times, some of the stones from the broch mound were removed, perhaps for building field dykes.
The promontory fort predated the broch, which was built inside the older structure. The earlier structure was an outwork that began at the edge of the promontory in the east, a 4.6 m thick wall or rampart of rock with an earth core. A gateway that widened towards the outside provided access through the wall. To the west of the gateway the rampart included a structure like a cell, and then there was a recess in the inner face of the wall. The outwork continued west, ending in a fence made of flagstones that reached to the cliff edge at Chapel Geo.
Based on radiocarbon dates, the broch was built around 200 BC, and was still in use in the second century AD. The broch would have given an impression of great strength, rising above the existing defensive wall. It included a guard cell, an intramural chamber and a stair entrance at ground level. Although the wall of the broch was relatively thick, it was poorly built, with a core of earth, rubble and boulders. This may be interpreted as being an early, experimental broch design. The roundhouse was not built strongly enough to support a tower more than 4.5 metres, half the height of later towers.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.