Deanery Church of St. Nicholas is notable dominant of Znojmo, to be seen on practically all panoramas of the town along with the town hall tower. Its consecration to St. Nicholas, the patron of merchants, is connected to the peripheral merchant settlement called Újezdec, which existed around the church since the end of the 11th century. The name St. Nicholas appears on the coins of the Znojmo principality's duke Litold around year 1100. In 1190, the originally Romanesque church was donated by duke Conrad Otto to the newly founded Louka abbey.
In the first third of the 14th century the old church succumbed to the huge fires that raged in the town, so the nobility of Louky had to proceed with the construction of a brand new temple. The building's architectural development was extremely complex; it passed through several stages during the 14th and 15th centuries. The main part of the church is built as a tall three-nave hall, segmented by huge cylindrical pillars. In December 1437, the dead body of emperor Zikmund of Luxembourg was publicly displayed in the temple. In the Baroque era, the interior of the church was refurbished (altars and sculptures), some of the side chapels were rebuilt.
The visitor will be captivated namely by the unique Gothic frescoes in the chancel, a masterful sanctuary and a beautiful Gothic sculpture of Christ whipped at a pole. We should also mention the interesting Baroque pulpit in the shape of the globe and the exquisite Neo-Gothic organ in the choir. The tower is the most recent addition to the building, as it wasn't erected until mid 19th century. The original church tower stood to the south, on the site of today's small tower.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.