Uppsala Castle is a 16th century royal castle in the historical city of Uppsala. Throughout much of its early history, the castle played a major role in the history of Sweden. It was built during the time Sweden was on its way to become a great power in Europe.
King Gustav Vasa began construction of Uppsala Castle in 1549. Kings Erik XIV, John III and Charles IX all remodeled and expanded the citadel into a representative renaissance palace. During Erik XIV's reign, the castle was the site of the Sture Murders, where several famous noblemen (among them three members of the influential Sture family) were killed. In 1630, King Gustavus II Adolphus announced the decision that Sweden should participate in the Thirty Years' War. It was in the castle that the Swedish government announced the abdication of Queen Kristina in 1654.
Uppsala Castle was seriously damaged by fire in 1702, being reduced essentially to a ruin. Reconstruction took many years and was indeed hampered by the remains of the castle being used as a quarry for stone to be used in building Stockholm Palace.
Uppsala Castle was the administrative center of Uppland and the site of the Hall of State (Rikssalen) for many years. Uppsala Castle is the residence of the County Governor of Uppsala County. Dag Hammarskjöld, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, spent his childhood days in the castle when his father, Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, was governor of Uppsala County. Today, the castle is also the site of the Uppsala Art Museum.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).