The Temple du Change or Loge du Change, formerly used for the stock exchange of Lyon, was originally built after plans by architect Simon Gourdet between 1631 and 1653. It was then rebuilt under the direction of Jacques-Germain Soufflot in 1748-1750. It has been assigned to Protestant worship since 1803, hence its designation Temple.
The first Loge du Change was a small classical building with four arches in front and two on each side. It soon became insufficient for Lyon's money exchange, but was not renovated before 1748.
Soufflot provided plans and elevations for its repair, performed by Jean-Baptiste Roche, an architect he had himself introduced. The flanking terraced houses were torn down, which provided the opportunity to significantly enlarge the building, which has a fifth arch in front, providing, instead of a central pier, a central bay as classical usage demands. Behind the façade rises a large room, as high and wide as the building. It is rectangular with an imperial-styled roof supported on four massive pillars. The first-floor facade was completely rebuilt in Soufflot's uncompromising neoclassical style, unusual for the epoch.
During the French Revolution, the building was abandoned. It became an inn for a moment, before being assigned to the Protestants in 1803. Minor changes were made throughout the nineteenth century, particularly on the interior and the furnishings.References:
The Château de Foix dominates the town of Foix. An important tourist site, it is known as a centre of the Cathars. Built on an older 7th-century fortification, the castle is known from 987. In 1002, it was mentioned in the will of Roger I, Count of Carcassonne, who bequeathed the fortress to his youngest child, Bernard. In effect, the family ruling over the region were installed here which allowed them to control access to the upper Ariège valley and to keep surveillance from this strategic point over the lower land, protected behind impregnable walls.
In 1034, the castle became capital of the County of Foix and played a decisive role in medieval military history. During the two following centuries, the castle was home to Counts with shining personalities who became the soul of the Occitan resistance during the crusade against the Albigensians. The county became a privileged refuge for persecuted Cathars.
The castle, often besieged (notably by Simon de Montfort in 1211 and 1212), resisted assault and was only taken once, in 1486, thanks to treachery during the war between two branches of the Foix family.
From the 14th century, the Counts of Foix spent less and less time in the uncomfortable castle, preferring the Governors' Palace. From 1479, the Counts of Foix became Kings of Navarre and the last of them, made Henri IV of France, annexed his Pyrrenean lands to France.
As seat of the Governor of the Foix region from the 15th century, the castle continued to ensure the defence of the area, notably during the Wars of Religion. Alone of all the castles in the region, it was exempted from the destruction orders of Richelieu (1632-1638).
Until the Revolution, the fortress remained a garrison. Its life was brightened with grand receptions for its governors, including the Count of Tréville, captain of musketeers under Louis XIII and Marshal Philippe Henri de Ségur, one of Louis XVI's ministers. The Round Tower, built in the 15th century, is the most recent, the two square towers having been built before the 11th century. They served as a political and civil prison for four centuries until 1862.
Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.