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The Château de Chaumont, France

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Château de Chaumont is a French castle. It was the first château at Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, France. It was built by Eudes II, Count of Blois, in the 10th century with the purpose of serving as a fortress to protect the Blois from attacks.

The castle was burned to the ground in 1465 in accordance with Louis XI's orders and was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465-1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498-1510, with help from his uncle, Georges d'Amboise.

Château Chaumont was later purchased by Catherine de Medici in 1560, a year after her late husband Henry II's death. She entertained numerous astrologers there, among them Nostradamus. After a short while, she forced Diane de Poitiers, Henry II's long-term mistress, to exchange Château de Chenonceau for Château de Chaumont. Diane de Poitiers only lived there for a short while.

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The Royal Château de Blois, France

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Royal Château de Blois is located in the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France. The residence of several French kings, it is also the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans.

Built in the middle of the town that it effectively controlled, the château of Blois comprises several buildings constructed from the 13th to the 17th century around the main courtyard. Its most famous piece of architecture is the magnificent spiral staircase in the François I wing.

In 1841, under the direction of King Louis-Philippe, the Château de Blois was classified as a historic monument. It was restored under the direction of the architect Felix Duban, to whom is due the painted decoration on walls and beamed ceilings. The château was turned into a museum. On view for visitors are the supposed poison cabinets of Catherine de' Medici. Most likely this room, the "chamber of secrets," had a much more banal purpose: exhibiting precious objects for guests.

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The Château d’Angers, France

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Château d'Angers is a castle in the city of Angers, in the département of Maine-et-Loire, in France.

The fortress of Angers, on a rocky ridge overhanging the river Maine, was one of the sites inhabited by the Romans because of its strategic defensive location.

In the 9th century, the fortress came under the authority of the powerful Counts of Anjou, becoming part of the Angevin empire of the Plantagenet Kings of England during the 12th century. In 1204, the region was conquered by Philip II and an enormous château was built by his grandson, Louis IX ("Saint Louis") in the early part of the 13th century.

Nearly 600 m (2,000 ft) in circumference, and protected by seventeen massive towers, the walls of the château encompass 6.17 acres (25,000 m²). In 1352, John II le Bon, gave the château to his son, Louis I. Married to the daughter of the wealthy Duke of Brittany, Louis had the château modified, and in 1373 commissioned the famous Apocalypse Tapestry from the painter Hennequin de Bruges and the Parisian tapestry-weaver Nicolas Bataille.

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The château of Azay-le-Rideau, France

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The château of Azay-le-Rideau was built from 1518 to 1527, one of the earliest French Renaissance châteaux. Built on an island in the Indre River, its foundations rise straight out of the water.

Gilles Berthelot, state treasurer of François I and mayor of Tours, began building on this already-fortified site, that was partly his wife's inheritance. However, it was she, Philippe Lesbahy, who directed the course of the works, including the novel idea of a central staircase (escalier d'honneur) that is Azay's greatest innovation. When Berthelot was suspected of collusion in embezzlement he was forced to flee from incomplete Azay-le-Rideau in 1528; he never saw the château again. Instead, the king confiscated the property and gave it as a reward to one of his high-ranking soldiers.

Over the centuries, it changed hands several times until the early part of the twentieth century, when it was purchased by the French government and restored. The interior was completely refurbished with a collection of Renaissance pieces. Today, the château is open to public visits.

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Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, Nantes, France

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Château des ducs de Bretagne (English: Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) is a large fortified château located in the city of Nantes in the Loire-Atlantique département of France; it served as the centre of the historical province of Brittany until its separation in 1941. It is located on the right bank of the Loire, which formerly fed its ditches. It was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries, subsequently becoming the Breton residence of the French Monarchy.

The castle has been listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1862.

Starting in the 1990s, the town of Nantes undertook a massive programme of restoration and repairs to return the site to its former glory as an emblem of the history of Nantes and Brittany. Following 15 years of works and three years of closure to the public, it was reopened on 9 February 2007 and is now a popular tourist attraction.

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The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy, near Melun, France

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a classical French chateau located in Maincy, near Melun, 55 km southeast of Paris in the Seine-et-Marne département of France. It was built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle-Isle (Belle-Ile-en-Mer), Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV.

Vaux-le-Vicomte was in many ways the most influential work built in Europe in the mid-17th century, the finest house in France built after the Château de Maisons. Here, together with the architect Louis Le Vau, the landscape architect André le Nôtre, and the painter-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together on a large-scale project for the first time. Their collaboration marked the beginning of a new order: the magnificent manner that is associated with the "Louis XIV style" involving a system of collective work, which could be applied to the structure, its interiors and works of art and the creation of an entire landscape. Vaux-le-Vicomte is one of Europe's finest constructions of its kind.

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Wooden church of St.Barbara and St.Joseph, Jastrzebie Zdroj, Poland

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Wooden church of St.Barbara and St.Joseph. Built in XVII century, rebuilt in 1888, moved to Jastrzebie Zdrój from Jedłownika in 1974.

Send by: raflik29


Old Jewish Cemetery in Wroclaw, Poland

August 22nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Old Jewish Cemetery in Wroclaw, Poland.

Send by: Gh0st