Chateaux of Ile-de-France

Château de By

The Château de By is a town museum run by the town of Thomery. The building was purchased in 1859 by the French animal painter Rosa Bonheur, who moved her studio there. Aged 37, she was at the height of her popularity and made the building her home and studio for forty years, with pens for her animals in its park. She rebuilt the chateau to make it comfortable and to add a vast neo-Gothic studio room with the space ...
Founded: 1859 | Location: Thomery, France

Château de Sigy

Château de Sigy is a modernised castle which dates originally from the 14th century. It was much altered in the 15th, 17th and 18th centuries. Of note are the walls and roofs of the castle and its outbuildings, including two towers, the gardens surrounded by moats and two bridges across the moats. Inside, the central staircase with wooden balusters is beneath a dome. In the north wing, the grand bedroom and the Trud ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Sigy, France

Château de Groussay

The Château de Groussay was built in 1815 by the duchesse de Charest, a daughter of Louise Elisabeth de Croÿ-Havré, marquise de Tourzel, the governess of the royal enfants de France of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The Château was purchased in 1938-39 by the French aesthete Carlos de Beistegui, who enlarged it, with the professional help of Emilio Terry. Cecil Beaton"s inspiration for Henry ...
Founded: 1815 | Location: Montfort-l'Amaury, France

Château de Janvry

The Château de Janvry dates back to the 17th century. It is still partially surrounded by watered moats. Its main building includes a primary wing facing west and two attached side wings, the north wing and the south wing. All wings are linked, creating a U-shaped château. The château was built around 1600 and 1650 in the Louis XIII architectural style. It has been part of the Reille family for many cen ...
Founded: 1600-1650 | Location: Janvry, France

Château de Mesnil-Voisin

The château de Mesnil-Voisin was built by Michel Villedo in 1632-1635. It has an orangery, kitchens, coachhouses and workshops. At the centre of its communal courtyard a huge dovecote with 3000 niches and a wood-framed roof, and topped by a conical turret - it is rare in having its internal moveable staircase still intact. The course of a canal bordering the rear of the château were entirely removed between 1 ...
Founded: 1632-1635 | Location: Bouray-sur-Juine, France

Château de Bourron

The current Château de Bourron dates back to the 16th century, however the castle on the site was mentioned first time in 1367. From 1145 to about 1465, the estate belonged to Denis de Chailly, from the great family of the Viscount of Melun, the most important of all the commanders from the Brie. During this time she joined Joan of Arc to re-conquer France from the British. It then belonged to Charles de Melun, who ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Bourron-Marlotte, France

Château Villette

Château Villette was designed by architect Francois Mansart around 1668 and finished around 1696 by his nephew Jules Hardouin-Mansart. The palace was built for Jean Dyel, the Comte d"Aufflay and Louis XIV"s ambassador to Venice. One of the most significant historical Chateaux in France, Villette is at once both simple and sumptuous with the great octagonal salon in white and blue, the elegant dining room ...
Founded: 1668-1696 | Location: Condécourt, France

Château de Farcheville

The Château de Farcheville was built by the Hugues II and Hugues III, Lords of Farcheville and Bouville. The great hall was built in 1291 and the castle chapel was consecrated in 1304. Both father and son were chamberlain to Philip IV of France. The structure possesses a rare northern French example of arched machicolations on buttresses, more characteristic of military architecture in the Languedoc. The castle pass ...
Founded: 1291 | Location: Bouville, France

Château du Saussay

The château du Saussay is built on the ruins of a 15th-century feudal castle, and is a rare collection of two 18th-century châteaux facing each other at the entrance to a Romantic park surrounded by water. Inside, their reception rooms evoke the lives of their inhabitants. The property of Olivier Le Daim, barber to the French kings from Louis XI to Louis XV, the château was burned by the Spanish during the Wars of Rel ...
Founded: 1620 | Location: Ballancourt-sur-Essonne, France

Château de Nangis

The Château de Nangis is a modernised castle located in the heart of the town of Nangis. The original name 'La Motte' suggests the motte-and-bailey that indicates the middle-age origin of the place. Fleury (c. 1093-1147), son of the king Philip I of France, is its oldest known lord. In 1245, the castle came into the ownership of the Montmorency family. A well known fortress in 1397, the English inflicted i ...
Founded: 1436 | Location: Nangis, France

Château de Pontchartrain

The estate of current Château de Pontchartrain was mentioned first time around 1325. The original manor was abandoned in the 16th century. Paul Phélypeaux was the king"s counselor in 1610 and the founder of the Pontchartrain branch of the Phélypeaux family, who kept the chateau for two centuries. His son Louis I Phélypeaux had the main building built between 1633 and 1662. Louis II Ph&eacu ...
Founded: 1633-1662 | Location: Jouars-Pontchartrain, France

Château de Grosbois

Nicolas Harlay de Sancy built a château on the former lands of Saint-Victor abbey at the start of the 17th century. This was still incomplete in 1616, when it was sold to Charles de Valois (1573–1650), count of Auvergne then duke of Angoulême (1619), illegitimate son of Charles IX of France by Marie Touchet. de Valois completed the château around 1640, notably building the enclosing wall (1623) and ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Boissy-Saint-Léger, France

Château de Diant

The Château de Diant was originally constructed in the 13th century for a companion of Philippe Auguste, with additions and modifications in the 15th century and the first half of the 19th. The castle has been protected since 1946. The gardens are also listed. The castle and gardens are privately owned are not open to the public.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Diant, France

Château de Brou

Château de Brou was built in the second half of the 17th century by Paul-Esprit Feydeau, the Royal intendant. Important changes were made in the 18th century including the removal of a monumental staircase in the hall to allow to give more room to the bedrooms on the 1st floor. Instead, two staircases were built on the north side at each corner of the two wings of the castle. The dovecote is probably the oldest buil ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Brou-sur-Chantereine, France

Château de Challeau

The Château de Challeau refers to two châteaux in the neighbouring communes of Dormelles and Villecerf. The first Château de Challeau was a fortified building built in the 11th century to 12th century. It has a 6m high and 1.3m thick curtain wall which surrounds an area approximately 30m by 24m, with rounded watchtowers at the corners. Unusually, it did not have a central keep, and internal buildings se ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Villecerf, France

Château d'Agnou

In the 12th century, a castle called the Château Saint-Vincent was raised on the spot of the present manor. Built in the faubourg of Agnou, within the fiefdom of the Boutigny family, it stood outside the long walls that enclosed Maule. The Boutignys owned the castle from the 13th century on: first Hugues de Boutigny, Lord of Gavral, then his son Jean de Boutigny. However, it was later dismantled by order of King Lou ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Maule, France

Château Louis XIV

The Château Louis XIV is a château constructed between 2008 and 2011 by the property developer Emad Khashoggi"s property development company COGEMAD using traditional craftsmanship techniques and materials. Located between Versailles and Marly-le-Roi on a 23-hectare walled site, the property is surrounded by moats and has a constructed surface area of 7,000 m2, 5,000 m2 of which are living space. The prop ...
Founded: 2008 | Location: Louveciennes, France

Château de Rosny-sur-Seine

The Château de Rosny-sur-Seine was built of bricks and limestone by Maximilien de Béthune, duke of Sully, on the site of an old fortified manor that had been dismantled and burned in 1435. In 1529, the old building passed by marriage to Jean de Béthune, the grandfather of Sully, who was born at the old house, but it was modest by the standards of the day, and he had it replaced in the last years of the 16th century wit ...
Founded: c. 1598 | Location: Rosny-sur-Seine, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Czocha Castle

Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.

Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.

In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.

In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.

After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.