The Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes is a Gothic chapel within the fortifications of the château de Vincennes. It was founded in 1379 by Charles V of France to house relics of the passion of Christ. Its design by Raymond du Temple and Pierre de Montereau was based on that of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, although the version at Vincennes only had a single level (20m high) compared to the two levels of the Paris version.
On Charles V's death in 1380, work on the chapel continued under his successor Charles VI, under whose rule the choir, the two oratories, the sacristy and the treasury were all completed, with the treasury housing the relics. The nave's construction continued but the works slowed during the Hundred Years War. The facade was only completed in 1480, by Louis XI of France. Under Francis I of France, the ordinary almoner to the king, Guillaume Crétin, also served as the chapel's treasurer, before becoming cantor at the main Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The interior decoration was only finished under Henry II of France, who in 1551 moved the order of Saint Michael's base from Mont-Saint-Michel to Vincennes. The following year he inaugurated the chapel.
In 1793, during the French Revolution, the interior decoration was destroyed, the stained glass windows smashed and the Baptistery of Saint Louis (long held in the chapel's treasury and used from at least as early as Louis XIII as the baptismal font for children of the French royal family) moved to the Louvre Museum.
The chapel houses the tombs of Bernardin Gigault (who died at Vincennes in 1694) and Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien. The latter was executed in 1804 in the moat of the Château de Vincennes, near a grave which had already been prepared; in 1816, his remains were exhumed and placed in the chapel.References:
Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.
The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.
In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.
Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.
About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.
Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.
A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.