The castle was built between 1613 and 1625, after the Edict
of Nantes, by the Richiers, a family of protestant nobility. Built
to be used both as a stronghold and as a place of leisure, its
form follows that of late 16th-century manor houses. The main
building is flanked by four corner pavilions, with three sides protected
by a dry moat. The north side and the stone bridges date
from 1756. The decorative elements of this otherwise austere
and monumental castle are limited to the dormers of the pavilions,
the stringcourses, and the use of polychromatic stones (red
sandstone and granite).
Inside, the most interesting features are the monumental staircase, the granite chimneys, the old parlour with its Louis XIII
painted ceiling, the panelled sitting room, the large reception
room, the old kitchen and the attics.
The L-shaped farm which also dates from the 17th century,
incorporates elements from earlier buildings. Other buildings
(the stables, the orangery, the green houses) were constructed
later. To the west and the north are the ruins of the 16th century
castle and its lookout tower, along with a 200-year old plane
tree, which overhangs an old fish pond that was formerly used
as a millpond.
During the Revolution, the last of the Richier family emigrated
and the castle was declared “national property”. It was
then bought in 1819 by Joseph Savary (born in Notre Dame de
Cenilly and the ancestor of the castle’s current owners) and has
been the site of the International Cultural Centre since 1952.
The site is classified as a historic monument (Monument
historique) "because of its architectural quality and its overall
great consistency as the centre of culture and history, as well as
that of modern thought".
- Accommodation on site
- Fully equipped meeting room
- Groups welcome