The Château de Landskron is situated in the southern part of Alsace, mere footsteps away from Switzerland. The castle was built before 1297. It had a very important strategic position in that it allowed the control of the Eastern Sundgau, the elbow of the Rhine and the city of Basel.
Several disputes concerning the ownership have been reported. Like the Château de Ferrette and Château de Morimont, the Château de Landskron was owned by Habsburg for a time. In 1462, the castle was given to the Lord of the Bailiwick of Lupfen, Sébastien de Reichenstein, who later enlarged and transformed the castle to adapt it to firearms in 1516.
In 1648, by the Peace of Westphalia which ended the Thirty Years' War, the lands and lordships of the Habsburgs in Alsace, including the Château de Landskron, passed into the hands of the King of France. After 1665, Vauban was responsible for rebuilding the castle into a military garrison, while many other Alsatian castles were abandoned and gradually destroyed.
In the 1690s, it was used as a state prison. The few prisoners who were imprisoned there until the French Revolution were predominantly political prisoners and the mentally ill. Bernard Duvergez, a courtier at the French court, was held there from 1769 until 1790 when he was discovered by revolutionaries looking for political prisoners. He died while waiting for them to find him a better place. He is the subject of a local novel, The Prisoner of Landskron.
The castle survived the Revolution, whereas the houses of the wealthy in Leyman were burned. The castle was destroyed in 1813 by the Austrian and the Bavarian armies fighting Napoléon Bonaparte.
After that time it was a ruin. In the 1970s, the former owners installed a colony of monkeys into the ruins. Since 1984, the castle has belonged to the Association pour la Sauvegarde du Château de Landskron and was partly restored in 1996.
One of the main characteristics of the castle is its big rectangular tower or keep.
Stavanger Cathedral is Norway's oldest cathedral. Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, is said to have started construction of the Cathedral around 1100. It was finished around 1150, and the city of Stavanger counts 1125 as its year of foundation. The Cathedral was consecrated to Swithin as its patron saint. Saint Swithun was an early Bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. Stavanger was ravaged by fire in 1272, and the Cathedral suffered heavy damage. It was rebuilt under bishop Arne, and the Romanesque Cathedral was enlarged in the Gothic style.
In 1682, king Christian V decided to move Stavanger's episcopal seat to Kristiansand. However, on Stavanger's 800th anniversary in 1925, king Haakon VII instated Jacob Christian Petersen as Stavanger's first bishop in nearly 250 years.During a renovation in the 1860s, the Cathedral's exterior and interior was considerably altered. The stone walls were plastered, and the Cathedral lost much of its medieval looks. A major restoration led by Gerhard Fischer in 1939-1964 partly reversed those changes. The latest major restoration of the Cathedral was conducted in 1999. Andrew Lawrenceson Smith is famous for his works here.