Haldenstein Castle was probably built in the 10th or 11th century as the family castle of the Ministerialis Haldenstein family, who were in service of the Lord of Vaz. By the 12th century the family had split into two lines, the Haldenstein family and the Lichtenstein family (who inhabited the nearby Lichtenstein Castle. Each family ruled over part of the nearby village and farms. By the end of the 13th century the Lichtenstein family died out and their lands and castle were inherited by the Haldensteins. In 1299 Johann von Vaz and the Bishop of Churquarreled over an unauthorized expansion of Haldenstein Castle. By the 14th century the Lord of Haldenstein was in the service of the Bishop. In 1362 Ulrich von Haldenstein was a soldier in Habsburg service, though in 1379 he was again in the service of the Bishop of Chur.
The Haldenstein family died out around the end of the 14th century. At this point the castle passed through a number of owners. In 1542 the widow of Jacques von Marmels married a French minister named Johann Jacob von Castion and he became the owner of Haldenstein. He quickly moved from the cramped and inconvenient castle down into Haldenstein and built the new Haldenstein Castle near the town. The old castle became known as Alt(Old)-Haldenstein. The old castle was sold to Gregor von Hohenbalken, the Lord of Aspermont, in 1567. In 1608 it was sold to the Scheuenstein family and later the Salis-Maienfelds occupied the castle. It was damaged in an earthquake in 1769 and again in 1787 and it was abandoned in the following years.
The castle was built on a small rocky outcropping above the valley below the Calanda massif. Due to the small size of the outcropping, the castle site is compact without outbuildings or curtain walls. Over the centuries the tower's height increased in several stages as the owners expanded in the only direction they could, upward. Several building phases can still be seen in the remaining tower walls.
The castle site can only be reached by following a narrow and steep trail along the mountain to the castle outcropping.References:
Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.
Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.
Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.