About Verteuil Castle
The Château de Verteuil is a historic castle in Charente, France. It dates back to 1080 and has since been extensively rebuilt, although 12th-century walls remain. The château has always been in the property of the La Rochefoucauld family and since 1966 has been classified as a monument historique.
Verteuil Castle history
Verteuil Castle sits in a strategic position, dominating the village of Verteuil-sur-Charente and the Charente valley. In the past it controlled the road from Limoges to La Rochelle, on the route between the courts of France and Spain.
The word ‘Verteuill’ was often used in the Middle Ages to designate a fortified place. Jean Froissart (c. 1337–1405) described it as “a strong castle in Poitou on the borders of Limousin and Saintonge”.
During the Hundred Years’ War Verteuil Castle was occupied several times by the English. It was demolished in 1442, but was soon rebuilt using the original stones. In the religious wars of 16th and 17th centuries the château was a base for Huguenot forces, and in 1650 it was partly demolished by royal troops.
Another château was erected but it received extensive damage in a fire in 1793 during the French Revolution. The château was renovated in the Romantic style after the Bourbon Restoration of 1815, and has been extensively modified since then.
During World War Two the château housed French troops and refugees from Alsace-Lorraine in 1940 and for several months it was partially occupied by some German units. In 1944 some members of the maquis, guerrilla Resistance fighters, were hidden there.
Verteuil Castle today
Considered to be one of the finest castles in the Charente region, the present château, designed on a triangular plan, has five conical towers and a watchtower capped by slate roofs. Archaeologists have uncovered traces of the older buildings on the site dating back to the 11th century.
Today, the impressive Verteuil Castle serves as a private function space for weddings and concerts but is also open every weekend from April to the end of September.
Getting to Verteuil Castle
Situated along the D56 and D26 just off the N10, Verteuil Castle is a 2 hour drive via the N10 from Bordeaux and 2 and a half hours from Nantes.