The Château de Dampierre was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1675–1683 for the duc de Chevreuse in French Baroque style. Protected behind fine wrought iron double gates, the main block and its outbuildings, linked by balustrades, are ranged symmetrically around a dry paved and gravelled cour d'honneur (three-sided courtyard). Behind, the central axis is extended between the former parterres, now mown hay. The park with formally shaped water was laid out by André Le Nôtre. There are sumptuous interiors.
The grande galerie was reconstructed for the amateur archaeologist and collector, Honoré Théodore Paul Joseph d'Albert, duc de Luynes, under the direction of antiquarian architect Félix Duban. Sculptor Pierre-Charles Simart contributed Hellenic friezes and reliefs for the project. Ingres' Age of Gold remains as testament to the abortive project of decorating it in fresco, not Ingres' habitual medium.
The park, which lost many trees in the storm of 26 December 1999, offers a formal canal and an eighteenth-century garden folly.References:
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD.
The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using Pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.