Pierrefonds Castle (France)
Built in the Middle Ages, it is the synthesis of the particular medieval fortification techniques; later rebuilt by the architect Viollet-le-Duc on the orders of Napoleon III in the nineteenth century. This castle has a very long and complex history. Its origins date back to the twelfth century, when the first fortress was built two centuries later King Charles VI gave it to his brother, Louis I of Valois, who rebuilt it from 1393 and 1407, with the help of architect Jean le Noir.
Subsequently, in 1617, was destroyed by Richelieu since François-Annibal d'Estrées, then owner, was of an opposite political camp. Unfortunately the castle was abandoned for centuries, when in 1810, Napoleon I decided to buy it, seduced by its charm. His nephew, Napoleon III restored it and decided to entrust the work to Viollet-le-Duc. The initial plan was to just redo the living part, but at the end of 1861, it was decided that Pierrefonds would become imperial residence, and so the work spread to the whole building.
The successful British "Merlin" series and television was filmed in part right in the Château de Pierrefonds. In fact, the director could not have picked a better location. The structure has eight towers, each of which is adorned with a statue of a hero: Arthur, Alexander, Geoffrey, Joshua, Hector, Judas Maccabaeus, Charlemagne and Caesar.
Wonderful is the main courtyard with a basket-handle arches that form a porch with a gallery. Fascinating is the "Hall of Prodi", one aisle in which are preserved statues of the nine brave men taken from novels. Do not miss a visit in the basement, where you will find the "Gallery of lying": many casts of crowned heads.