Together with the Castello di Santa Margherita Ligure to the west and the Castello di Rapallo to the east, Castello di Punta Pagana formed part of the Genoese coastal defence system for the protection of villages on the western Tigullio gulf.
Construction of the fort began in April 1625 by the Republic of Genoa. Its construction became necessary due to the open hostilities between Genoa and Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, which raised fears of a Piedmontese land or sea attack.
The fort cost over 50,000 lire, and construction work progressed rapidly thanks to new taxes that allowed for the purchase of the material and paying workers' salaries. Construction was well underway by December 1625, and the moat and drawbridge were ready by 1627. The fort was fully completed and commissioned by the Republic of Genoa on 28 July 1631. It was armed with enough weapons, ammunition and gunpowder for a sudden attack.
Fortunately for the inhabitants of the nearby village of San Michele di Pagana, the area was never attacked by pirates or enemy soldiers and the fort never saw use. In 1644, the Genoese senate ordered the castellan to abandon the fort and send all military equipment inside on a galley to Genoa.
The castle was subsequently garrisoned by local soldiers, and it became the headquarters of the Commissariato di Sanità di Rapallo (Health Commissariat of Rapallo). The Bombardment of Genoa by the French fleet in 1684 caused fears of another attack, so the fort was rearmed. However, no attacks occurred, and the fort was finally abandoned in 1705. It later became private property, forming part of the grounds of the nearby Villa Pagana.
The fort has belonged to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta since 1959, when the last owner of the villa passed on the entire property to the Order.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.