Roche Courbon Castle | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Roche Courbon Castle

Rochefort, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

History Hit

24 Nov 2020

About Roche Courbon Castle

Château de la Roche Courbon is a large 15th century château, developed from an earlier castle, in the Charente-Maritime département of France.

A castle was built around 1475 by Jehan de Latour upon a rocky outcrop in the midst of marshland on a site which had been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the 17th century, the Courbon family, who had occupied the castle for two centuries, transformed it into a more comfortable residence.

As the marquis would not flee during the French Revolution, the château was not sold. His daughter Charlotte married an aide de camp of Napoleon however because upkeep was so expensive, however, the château became abandoned during the following hundred years.

More alterations were made in the 18th century, but it was eventually sold in 1817 and then abandoned. It was purchased in 1920 by Paul Chénereau, who restored the château and its gardens.

The château is still owned and inhabited by his descendants.

The interior of the château contains decor from the 17th century, in particular a bathroom covered with painted wood panels and sculptures from 1662.

The château has a jardin à la française, redone in 1936-1939, featuring a terrace with an Italian gallery, a monumental stairway, a parterre with four compartments and a fountain, topiary, and statues. The property is entered via the Porte des Lions, an imposing 17th century edifice. Inside the moat is the keep, an ancient tower.

The gardens include orchard, flower garden, geometrical flower beds and lawns surrounding a small lake (‘mirror pool’). The river Bruant flows through the gardens, feeding the water features.

In the grounds are some Stone Age cave dwellings, at the base of sandstone cliffs, in woodland close by the river Bruant. Prehistoric finds from the site are housed in the keep museum.

The château is privately owned, and classified as an historic monument. The garden is listed by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France.

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