Château de Montrésor, France | Europe 2017
Europe 2017: Our Itinerary (+ Posts)
- Montresor, France
- Loire Valley: Chateau de Chambord
- Château de Montrésor, France
- Annecy, France
- Col de la Forclaz, France
I know it's been a little bit since I shared the first sets of photos from our Europe trip last fall, and as our European vacation of 2018 is quickly approaching (more on that this week!), I wanted to share with you the rest of our last trip. Many of you have messaged me, wanting to know where we stayed and what we did, so I want to make sure I post the details on the last trip before we hop back across the pond! This coming week, I will be posting a series here on the blog, recapping our last trip and frequently
The little village of Montrésor, France enchanted us.
And the château that overlooks the village stole our hearts!
Chateâu de Montrésor is absolutely charming and so interesting to visit. It is not quite as grandiose as other chateaus and castles we've visited, and I loved the feel of it: lived-in and cozy (well, as "cozy" as a big stone chateau can be ;)
The B & B we stayed at was literally a few cobblestone footsteps away from the château (which I was obviously freaking out about!! :)
A bit of history we learned about the château (for those who are history buffs :) or for those who are planning a visit -- it just makes the experience all the richer to know the story behind a place!)
"The Château de Montrésor is a medieval castle with a Renaissance mansion built in the grounds. In about 1005, Fulk Nerra, count of Anjou, chose a rocky spur dominating the valley of the Indrois as the site for his captain Roger le Petit Diable ("Little Devil"), to build him a powerful fortress. Montrésor had one of the first keeps built in stone, similar to that at Loches, and two circular walls, but today only the west wall remains. In the 12th century, Montrésor fell into the hands of Henry II of England and the imposing towers at the entrance were built, as well as a part of the north curtain wall. In 1188, King Philip Augustus of France retook Montrésor from the English. André de Chauvigny, returning from the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionheart, became the new lord of Montrésor, before having to cede the castle for almost two centuries to the Palluau family. Demolished in 1203, the castle was rebuilt in 1393 for Jean IV de Bueil by Jean Binet, who put up the enclosure wall, the gatehouse and the existing outbuildings.
From the start of the 15th century, with the court spending more and more time in Touraine, Montrésor became a centre for courtesans and royal servants. In 1493, Imbert de Batarnay bought Montrésor to build an elegant residence in the feudal enclosure, of which only the main wing remains. Imbert was an influential councillor and chamberlain to four kings of France: Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XI and Francis I. This royal servant had a long tenure in this function, rare in this epoch, but he was skilful and cunning, and was present at all of the negotiations in his time - he was particularly responsible for arranging the marriage of Anne of Brittany to the king, sealing the joining of the Duchy of Brittany to the French kingdom. He was entrusted with preparations for war with Italy and the education of the children of Louis XII and François I.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, other leading families - such as the Bourdeilles and the Beauvilliers - lived in the castle. The French Revolution marked the beginning of its decline. Around 1845, count Jouffroy de Gonsan demolished the west wing of the Renaissance logis as well as the castle chapel. In 1849, Xavier Branicki, a rich Polish count and friend of emperor Napoleon III, arrived to give new life to Montrésor; Branicki undertook the complete restoration of the castle. He equipped the house with rich furnishings and roofs and the house was the setting for sumptuous feasts with Napoléon. Branicki's descendants still own the castle." (Source)
And we dined at the local darling and delicious crêpe cafe nearby at the table next to the 90-year-old descendent who now owns and lives in Château de Montresor!
I can't wait to tell Weston all the stories of the days we explored these significant, historical, beautiful places.
We ooohed and aahhhed over how lush and green it was!
The Mansion (the decedents actually live there! You know I wanted to go in and become BFF's haha)
One of my favorite moments, ever, with my boy, walking around the chateau grounds as he held onto me and wrapped his arms around my neck a few times.
We explored the inside of almost the entire château!
This first room was full to the brim of taxidermy.
And this room.... I thought we walked straight into a scene from "Beauty and the Beast"!
And this upstairs room, it was just so cozy, the warm afternoon light pouring in the windows, casting shadows on the old books.
A very young boy exploring a very old house.
All the questions about all the stories behind these pictures.
A hidden gem and worth the visit, Château de Montrésor (and Montrésor in general) is a little slice of lovely history and charm, and we so enjoyed our time there. This little village... it is a fairytale come to life!