The Ducal Palace of Nancy was built in the 15th century for René II, Duke of Lorraine. In the 18th century the palace was extended by Baroque architects. Under the rule of Leopold, Duke of Lorraine parts of the building were pulled down, in preparation of greater projects, he intended. After the House of Habsburg had ceded Lorraine to French control in exchange for Tuscany, the ducal palace in Nancy became the home of Stanislaw Leszczynski. After Stanislaw's death, his Duchy was inherited by his son-in-law, King Louis XV of France and incorporated in his dominions.
The palace used to have St George's Collegiate Church, which was the house chapel and also the burial place of members of the house of Lorraine. The chapel does not exist anymore. The functions of the house chapel was then given to the Church of Saint-François-des-Cordeliers, which is located next to the palace.
The first level of the structure contains reception and dining rooms used by the Dukes, known as the Galerie des Cerfs. On the ground floor, there is an open-vaulted gallery overlooking the garden, while a portal marks the Grande Rue entrance. Also built in Gothic style, its décor suggests that it is one of the earliest examples of work from the Renaissance period in nowaday's eastern France.
In 1848 the palace was converted to house the Musée Lorrain. The museum's collections include artefacts from the Gallo-Roman and Merovingian civilisations of the east of France, religious and funeral sculptures and stained-glass windows from the Medieval period, as well as armaments from the 14th and 15th centuries. The museum also includes a collection of Renaissance art including works by Ligier Richier and sculptures relating to the history of the Palace itself, as well as of major works by Georges de La Tour and Jacques Callot, and a rare collection of Jewish ritual objects.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.