The Schloss Nörvenich was established in around 1400 by Wilhelm von Vlatten and was remodeled on numerous occasions over the centuries.
In the 15th century, the property fell through marriage to Konrad Scheiffart von Merode-Bornheim. Wilhelm Scheiffart von Merode and his wife Agnes von Bylandt enlarged the house in the middle of the 16th century to the West Wing. At the end of the 16th century, the castle fell through marriage to Baron Johann Otto von Gymnich, whose family remained in possession of it until the 19th century. It then passed to Count Wolff-Metternich von Gymnich, and became known for a period as Schloss Gymnich.
Just before the Second World War, the schloss was taken over by non-aristocratic owners, and since that time it has repeatedly changed hands. The sculptor Rückriem lived and worked here from 1963 to 1971, and several Canalbums were recorded here in the late 1960s and early 1970s including Soundtracks and Tago Mago; the band moved out of the castle in late 1971. The building now houses the Museum of European Art.
In 1982, there were unearthed the remains of an earlier fortress dating to around 1350, and medieval pottery. This earlier structure is believed to have been demolished down to the foundation in 1400 to enable the construction of a new, larger building.
The current two-storey mansion dates to the 18th century, and stands on a high basement. It has a heavy tiled hipped roof and dormers and Gothic brickwork. Around 1950, the greater part of the roof collapsed, and the building underwent extensive restoration. A number of rooms feature richly designed stucco ceilings in the Regency style, with allegorical figures and the arms of the former aristocratic owners commonplace.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.