At the start of the 11th century, Foulques Nerra who was
responsible for many of the medieval fortresses of the Loire Valley,
had one built on top of a rocky promontory overlooking the Indrois
Valley as a defence against potential invaders. A double enclosure
wall surrounding the keep is still apparent. The massive corner
towers and the 12th century gate towers remain impressive because of
their powerful feudal architecture designed for defensive purposes. It is one of our favourite chateaux -- not as grand as some but one of the few with that 'lived in' feel.
The chateau passed into the hands of the Bastarnay family in 1493.
They had a fine residence built within the fortress walls and also
founded the collegiate church.It became a charming peacetime
residence surrounded by the original feudal defence system. Over
time it past into the ownership of the Beauvilliers family where it
remained for over a century until 1831.
In1849, Xavier Branicki,a Polish count who had
developed a friendship with Napoléon III, acquired the château. Army
officer, politician and financier, he was one of the founders of the Crédit Foncier de France bank in 1852. A noteworthy art collector
and patron, the count decorated the château with many valuable
pieces of furniture, paintings and art objects.
The castle still belongs to the descendants of Count Branicki today
and don't be surprised to bump into a family member on your visit.
Clustered at the base of the
chateau, along the river Indrois, a picturesque village has developed. It has some very pretty little houses spread along the Indrois River plus a few attractive half-timbered houses.
There is a good restaurant in the village 'Cafe de la Ville' where you can have lunch during your visit. We have eaten here quite a few times and have never been disappointed. You get a good value ste
lunch at a very reasonable price. In high
season it is a good idea to pop in and book
The area is ideal for walking and exploring and full of pleasant surprises. There are a number of marked routes around the village. You can get maps and other information from the very good tourist office in the village.
You can see a slideshow of the village here>