About Montbron Castle
The Château de Montbron, known locally as the Vieux Château, or ‘old castle’, are the remains of a castle in the commune of Montbron in the Charente division of France.
History of Montbron Castle
The castle and site has been known from the before the 12th century, being mentioned in the diploma of Charles the Bald in 852.
The current château was built during the 15th century in around 1480, shortly after the Hundred Years War had left behind so much destruction.
In the 15th century it was razed, with its simple rectangular keep, as a sign of infamy on the orders of King of France Charles VII. Marguerite de Rohan, Countess of Angoulême, rebuilt the castle. Parts of the Romanesque-style keep alongside other sections of the castle still remain.
Jacquette de Montberon, who was the last of the Montberon family, married Andre de Bourdeille in 1558. His lordship then passed to Louise de Savoie. In 1624, the heirs of Henri de Luxembourg had to sell the Montbron title to the Lomenie family, who then kept Montbron Castle as well as the country of Brienne until the end of the 17th century.
In 1699, the title was passed to Étienne Chérade. His grandson, Adrien-Alexandre-Étienne Chérade de Montbron, obtained the Montbron title in 1766, but was dispossessed during the French Revolution.
The castle, built with the stones of the old feudal fortress, was integrated into the city and surrounded by ramparts.
Montbron Castle Today
Drawings show that Montbron Castle was once a single pitched roof building, and that the dungeon was pierced with rectangular windows in the 17th century.
Today, all that remains is a main building upon which leans a polygonal tower, which can be reached via a remarkable spiral staircase.
On the first floor are two magnificent marble fireplaces which date to the 17th century, and are each in the two exhibition rooms. These fireplaces were classified as monuments historiques by the French Ministry of Culture in 1985.
As well as the two exhibition rooms on the first floor, guided tours are available for both individuals and groups, but must be booked in advance.
Getting to Montbron Castle
From the centre of Montbron, the castle is reachable in around 2 minutes via Rue Madame Dessus or Rue du Dr Laborde and Rue Madame Dessus. It is reachable in around a minute by car via the same route.
From La Rochelle, the castle is reachable in around 2 hours 20 minutes via the N141 road.