A document from 1177 from the Abbey of Hauterive mentions the Romont as a wooded hill. In 1239, Anselme (or Nantelme) sold the rights to Romont hill to Peter II of Savoy. At that time, Romont was part of the territory of the Bishop of Lausanne. In 1240, Peter II sent a castellan to Romont to build a castle and found a village. The main castle (Grand Donjon), with a typical Savoy square floor plan, was completed before 1260. The original castle partially collapsed in 1579 and was rebuilt by Fribourg in 1591. Another castle with a round tower, formerly known as the Petit Donjon, but now known as Boyer-tower was built around 1250-1260, most likely by Peter II.
In the 16th century, the new governors from Fribourg built a further wing - now home to the Museum’s collection of reverse painting on glass. The entrance gate to the courtyard and the well also date from that period. The huge wooden draw-wheel for the well (18th century), the parapet walkway, and some lovely old trees lend the courtyard a particular cachet.
The interior of the old castle is equally remarkable: solid sandstone walls and an imposing timber roof-framework stand in interesting contrast to the metal structures of the new orangery, passerelle and stairwell added in 2006 when remodelling the Museum.
Romont Castle provides a perfect setting for the Vitromusée and Vitrocentre. The castle stands at the top of a picturesque hill at an altitude of 780m. Together with the medieval church and houses surrounded by the old town walls, it shapes the distinctive silhouette of the small town of Romont. The square in front of the castle opens onto a magnificent panorama of the Alps, with the majestic Mont Blanc visible to the right on a clear day.
The keep and the main part of the castle - which today houses the Museum’s stained-glass collection - were built in the 13th century under Pierre II of Savoy.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.