The Château d'Étampes was a castle in the town of Étampes. The principal remains are of the 12th-century keep, the Tour de Guinette.
The Château d'Étampes was an early 10th-century stronghold of Robert the Pious, King of France, that comprised both a palace proper and motte. Between 1130 and 1150, a new castle was created overlooking the valley, culminating in a strong keep or donjon: the present Tour de Guinette. The Château was extended under later kings, notably Philip II of France, but suffered through sieges in the Hundred Years War before having been ordered destroyed by Henry IV of France, after which only the keep remained.
The architectural aspects of this former royal castle are known from contemporary images, including the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry. Tour de Guinette was in the center of the castle and was surrounded by a rectangular curtain wall punctuated by corner towers. This wall was, in turn, enclosed by two additional walls providing layers of defense for the keep.
The surviving keep stands roughly 27 meters tall and is a quatrefoil plan (much like a four-leaf clover). Divided into four stories, first-floor access may originally have been reached from the enclosure wall. This interesting plan is the result of tactical experimentation that the keep underwent during the mid-12th century to improve the defense of towers against missiles and to reduce dead ground. The circular lobes deflect missiles, and allow defenders to cover the foot of the walls from the summit of the keep. The plan resembles the keeps of Ambleny and nearby Houdan. Clifford's Tower, part of York Castle in York, England, is believed to have been inspired by Étampes.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.