The castle of Črni Kal was noted in the 11th century. Apart from being a resting place for traders and travellers, it was also the place of the conflict between the Habsburgs and the Venetians for the dominance of Koper.
The ruins of a castle overlooking Črni Kal, called Town or Old Town by domicile inhabitants, stand on a cliff some 30 meters high that once could be reached only by a four-meter-long drawbridge. Situated on the road through the Rižana Valley towards Klanec, between the Adriatic Coast and the interior, on the border between the Venetian and Habsburg interests, Črni Kal was mentioned as early as the 11th century.
Following the war fought against the Turks, the entire defensive complex, including Črni Kal, was taken over by the Koper municipality. It was a resting-place for tradesmen and travellers, but also a place where conflicts for the supremacy of Koper, the Habsburgs took place, as well as attacks by the Uskoks. As the fortress of Črni Kal was not strategically as important to the Venetians as Socerb, they handled the defeat from Habsburg General Krsto Frankopan with ease as well as its conquest following the attack on the area surrounding Venetian Koper, when it was pillaged by the Emperor followers. Črni Kal, controlling the entire valley, during the Uskok War and together with Socerb, represented the major point from where the Habsburg soldiers invaded their enemy. As the period from the early 15th until the first half of the 17th century was noted for its frequent pillagings, the unapproachable camp was established beneath the fort for the locals to store their possessions.
Today, the cliff at Črni Kal is a popular climbing site. It offers rock-climbing fans a variety of routes with different climbing grades and lengths all year round. A local attraction is the 'leaning tower', a belfry of St. Valentine's Church from the 17th century which inclines as a result of the caving in of the ground.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.