Due to its excellent strategic location, Socerb Castle was already an important stronghold in Illyrian times, while in the Middle Ages, it became a mighty and well-fortified castle controlling the Trieste hinterlands and the commercial routes between Carniola and the coast. The castle has an exceptionally rich and turbulent history that can be traced from the Early Middle Ages to 1780 when it was struck by lightning, rendering it uninhabitable. Its important strategic position made it a cause of fights between the Venetians, Trieste and the Habsburg Monarchy. It was owned by the Venetians from 1463 to 1511 when it was an important stronghold serving as defence against the Turks and Imperial Austria in the Austro-Venetian wars from the early 16th century.
In the early 17th century, during the Uskok War (1615-1617), the Castle was owned by Benvenuto Petazzi, a nobleman from Trieste. The Counts of Petazzi kept their sway over Socerb until 1688, when they returned it to the Archducal Chamber in Graz and moved to Žavlje. In the first half of the 18th century, the Socerb Seigniory came under the Marquises de Priè and was bought in 1768 by the Counts Montecuccoli from Modena who kept it even after releasing the peasants in 1848.
The results of a fire caused by lightning in 1780 caused the castle to slowly start deteriorating in the 19th century. The castle ruins and the nearby cave were described by Count Giroloamo Agapito in 1823 and painted by August Tischbein in 1842. The dilapidated castle was bought in 1907 by Demetrio Economo, a Trieste Baron, who refurbished it in 1923-1924 concentrating mainly on restoring the surrounding walls whilst other remains were removed.
During the national liberation war, the castle’s excellent strategic position made it important for both the partisans, who used it as the seat of the VOS (Security-Intelligence Service), and the people’s court, as well as for German units who occupied it in autumn of 1944, making it a fortified stronghold. The castle was refurbished after the war and today serves as a popular excursion destination with its natural and cultural sights offering food and services to tourists.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.