La Rochefoucauld Castle | Attraction Guides | History Hit

La Rochefoucauld Castle

Angouleme, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

About La Rochefoucauld Castle

The Château de La Rochefoucauld is an 11th century castle in La Rochefoucauld-en-Angoumois, southwestern France.

The site was first used around 980 by Fucaldus, younger brother of the Viscount of Limoges. Fucaldus set up a fortified camp on the rock and called it Fucaldus in rupe, or Foucald’s Rock.

Early in the 11th century, the son of Fucaldus built a square keep, still identifiable at the heart of the present site. Two entrance towers were built from 1350, with three angle towers following, along with a heightening of the keep, in 1453.

Galleries and a grand staircase, the latter attributed to designs by Leonardo da Vinci, were added in 1520. Much of the medieval building was demolished in 1615 when the courtyard was opened out and improvements were made to honour a visit by Louis XIII of France. There was some rebuilding in 1760 following a fire.

The village of La Rochefoucauld takes its name from the castle, which is partially open to the public. It is also still inhabited by the Duke and Duchess. It lies very close to the line which delineated occupied France and Vichy France during World War II.