Château de Louveciennes is composed of the château itself and the music pavilion. The pavilion sits in the middle of a park that was designed in the 19th century.
The château is an approximately cubic construction, of average size and modest appearance, which borders the chemin de la Machine (n° 6), a favourite subject of the Impressionists Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.
In 1684, Louis XIV ordered the construction of a château in the proximity of an aqueduct built to bring water drawn from the Seine by the Machine de Marly to the Château de Marly. The king gave the building to Baron Arnold de Ville, the engineer of Liège who had conceived the hydraulic installation. The building was later given to Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, the eldest legitimised daughter of Louis XIV and his mistress Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan.
At Louise's death in 1743, the château passed to her daughter, the Princesse de Conti, who introduced Madame de Pompadour to court. At some point, the building reverted to the crown.
In 1769, Louis XV offered the château to his new favourite, Madame du Barry. She probably called upon Ange-Jacques Gabriel, Premier Architecte du Roi, to enlarge and redecorate the building. Gabriel added the adjoining eastern wing, as well as the decoration of carved woodwork. Louis XV often visited the château that had become known as the Château de Madame du Barry. It is there that, 22 September 1793, Madame du Barry was arrested during the French Revolution.
In the 1980s, the château was acquired by a Japanese woman and her Marseillais-born French-American husband illegally using the name of her family's company Nippon Sangyo, as a commercial asset. The couple sold all the furniture and left the building abandoned. They were sued by the company later. Occupied by squatters, the château underwent various degradations. In 1994, an attempt to remove the joinery and a chimneypiece was thwarted by the police. The owner then put the property up for sale, and it was bought by a French investor who carefully restored it.
The château was disadvantaged by its lack of a view of the Seine. Moreover, Madame du Barry considered the reception areas to be inadequate. She thus decided to build, surveying the valley of the Seine, a small separate house that would include reception rooms, the famous Pavillon de Louveciennes.
Proposals were requested of Charles de Wailly and Claude Nicolas Ledoux. In spite of the negative opinions given by several of her circle, notably Gabriel, Mme du Barry decided to retain the project of Ledoux, then at the beginning of his career. The design was completed in 1770 and construction was carried out in 1771. The inauguration took place on 2 September 1771 in the presence of the King.References:
The two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheatre was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting as well as plays and concerts in summer.
The building measures 136 m in length and 109 m wide, and features 120 arches. It has an oval arena surrounded by terraces, arcades on two levels (60 in all), bleachers, a system of galleries, drainage system in many corridors of access and staircases for a quick exit from the crowd. It was obviously inspired by the Colosseum in Rome (in 72-80), being built slightly later (in 90).
With the fall of the Empire in the 5th century, the amphitheatre became a shelter for the population and was transformed into a fortress with four towers (the southern tower is not restored). The structure encircled more than 200 houses, becoming a real town, with its public square built in the centre of the arena and two chapels, one in the centre of the building, and another one at the base of the west tower.
This new residential role continued until the late 18th century, and in 1825 through the initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée, the change to national historical monument began. In 1826, expropriation began of the houses built within the building, which ended by 1830 when the first event was organized in the arena - a race of the bulls to celebrate the taking of Algiers.
Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other Roman buildings of the city, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.