French Châteaux

Example of a French Châteaux

Auvergne Châteaux and Castles

The Auvergne has a particularly rich heritage of châteaux which are well worth visiting. Due to the rugged landscape in areas the château were built in imposing locations supplying an even greater sense of grandeur, adding to their beauty

The majority of the châteaux were built in the Middle Ages, under the Dukes of Bourbon d'Auvergne and their vassals, these fortifications set high up on volcanic promontories and these lovely residences nestled in the Bourbonnais bocage bear witness to a prestigious past.

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Auvergne Châteaux and Castles

The Allier, birthplace of the Bourbons, seat of the Lords of La Palice, has hundreds of varied châteaux, fortresses and mansions full of character and splendor: the medieval fortress at Bourbon-l'Archambault, the château de Busset, château de Chareil-Cintrat, château de Fontariol...

Puy-de-Dôme also has numerous châteaux of distinction, this includes: Château de Cordès: an impressive 15th century château, on the historical monuments list. Superb classic French style gardens laid out by Le Nôtre. Murol: masterpiece of medieval military architecture, where a new legend of chivalry is staged each year. Saint-Saturnin: set in one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France stands a perfect example of a big medieval castle – which once belonged notably to Catherine de Medicis.

Cantal's châteaux of note include: Anjony: the fortified 15th century keep to which were added living quarters in the 17th century. Remarkable set of 16th century wall-paintings, including the scene of the Neufs Preux (nine noble heroes) in the hall. La Trémolière: the ten 16th century Bestiary tapestries which are on the historical monuments list. Pesteils: 15th century frescoes, 17th century painted ceilings. From the top of the 40 metre high keep there is a breathtaking view of the Cantal mountains. Sedaiges: a unique example of 19th century Troubadour architecture.

Le Puy-en-Velay (a UNESCO world heritage site in the Haute-Loire): Marial sanctuary with origins dating back to the 5th century, and which was the site of one of the most important Virgin Mary pilgrimages between the 11th and 16th centuries. The mysterious Black Virgin statue burned in 1794, the 12th and 13th century frescoes and sculptures, recall the links between this cathedral and Middle East Christianity. Also worth seeing are the 12th century cloisters and the museum of religious art.

Boussac castle was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. On the lintel to the entrance door can be seen the arms of Jean 1st de Brosse, one of Joan of Arc’s companions. The writer George Sand had a room here where she wrote her Journal d’un voyageur pendant la guerre.

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