About Saint-Germain-Beaupré Castle
The Château de Saint-Germain-Beaupré is an impressive 16th century castle in the commune of Saint-Germain-Beaupré in the Creuse département of France.
Saint-Germain-Beaupré Castle history
The castle was built in the 16th century, beginning in 1533, on the site of an earlier castle dating from the 12th century, itself rebuilt between 1407 and 1409. Built in a pentagonal shape for Gabriel Foucauld, with large circular towers on all corners, the fortress was restored again at the end of the 15th century at the expense, it is said, of Jean VI d’Aumont – who had devastated it twice.
In 1605, King Henry IV of France spent a night here. In 1666, it housed the King’s daughter la Grande Mademoiselle, who recalled her brief stay here in her Mémoires.
In 1768, the castle passed into the hands of the marquis Doublet de Persan who, financially ruined, had to sell it on the eve of the Revolution. Various subsequent owners neglected its upkeep. In 1860, the new owner was forced to carry out repairs including entirely rebuilding a collapsed tower.
Saint-Germain-Beaupré Castle today
Privately owned and therefore not open to visitors, the château has been listed since 9 May 1946 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture has also classified as historical monument the moats and entrance from the 16th century as well as the façades and roof. The internal vaulted staircase was listed in 1941.
While you cannot entre the castle, from outside you can still gain a great vantage of the impressive medieval fortress, surrounded by lush greenery and a moat. What remains is the main fort with three large towers and a smaller one, still boasting brick machicolations.
Getting to Saint-Germain-Beaupré Castle
Saint-Germain-Beaupré Castle is best reached by car, and is located just off the D72 between La Souterraine (which has train links to Paris) and Crozant, with its own castle.