The Castle Garden in Rothenburg is the site where the royal family of Hohenstaufen established its imperial castle in 1142. King Conrad III reigned over his kingdom from here, but was the only ruler who actually used Rothenburg Castle. As his sons died relatively early, the castle quickly lost its importance, but not before it had formed the seed for the germination of the town.
Starting from the castle, the settlement spread over the hill, until it had become one of the ten largest towns in the Holy Roman Empire by the year 1400, with a population of over 6,000. An earthquake destroyed the castle complex in 1356 and the stones of the ruins – a valuable commodity at the time – were used to build the city walls. Only the Chapel of St. Blaise was renovated after the quake. However this building was not originally a chapel, but rather the 'Upper Ducal House', probably the conference building where the king received his guests. The building was dedicated as a chapel after the renovation and now serves as a memorial to the fallen of the two World Wars. The Chapel of St. Blaise is also the site of the memorial to the pogrom of 1298, the original of which is in the Imperial Town Museum.
After entering the Castle Gardens, the visitor will be drawn to the wonderful view of the southern part of the town and the Tauber Valley to the left, as well as the Double Bridge and the Kobolzeller Church.
Another interesting feature of the Castle Gardens are the geometric flower beds from the 17th/18th century with eight sandstone figures representing the four seasons and the four elements.
If you look into the valley having passed through the gardens, you will see a bright blue tower, known as the Topplerschlösschen, the House of Mayor Toppler. Built in 1388, it was built by the powerful Mayor Toppler for his own pleasure. Previously surrounded by water, the castle is where he met with dignitaries such as King Wenzel. There is also a memorial to Toppler in the Castle Gardens. Since September 2010, the park is also adorned with a column in memory of the royal house of the Hohenstaufen dynasty.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.