Chateaux of Normandy

Château de Domfront

Château de Domfront is a ruined castle dating from the 11th century. In 1049, the castle, belonging to Guillaume II Talvas, lord of Bellême, was besieged by William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy. In 1092, the people of Domfront revolted against Robert II de Bellême, Earl of Shrewsbury, transferring their allegiance to the third son of William the Conqueror, Henri Beauclerc, who became duke of Normandy ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Domfront, France

Château de La Pommeraye

The history of Château de La Pommeraye originates from the 11th century. The moat and walls date from the original castle. The castle was rebuilt in 1646 and again in 1850. There is also a 19th century orangerie, chapel and gardens. Today Château de La Pommeraye is a hotel.
Founded: 1646 | Location: La Pommeraye, France

Chambois Keep

The Norman keep or Donjon in Chambois was built in the 12th century. One of the rare surviving square keeps in Normandy. It can be seen from outside.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Chambois, France

Château d'Eu

The Château d"Eu is a former royal residence built in the 16th century to replace an earlier one purposely demolished in 1475 to prevent its capture by the English. The chapel contains the tombs of Henry I, Duke of Guise, and his wife, Catherine de Clèves, who embarked on the construction of the château in 1578. The building was completed almost a century later by the Anne Marie Louise d"Orl&e ...
Founded: 1578 | Location: Eu, France

Château d'Ivry-la-Bataille

The original square form castle in Ivry-la-Bataille was built around 960 AD. It was 32x25m wide stone building with a small chapel. Today the first floor of this castle remains and it is the oldest medieval building in Normandy. The castle was enlarged during the next centuries. In the Hundred Years" War it was conquered by English (1418), but moved back to the hands of French (1424). After 1449 the castle was left t ...
Founded: 960 AD | Location: Ivry-la-Bataille, France

Château de Vendeuvre

Vendeuvre was built between 1750 and 1752 from the plans of architect Jacques-François Blondel and is a great example of a country house (maison de campagne) of the 18th century. Its owner, Alexandre Le Forestier, coming from a Cotentin family that claimed descent from the Counts of Flanders, wanted a modern summer retreat built in the style of the day. The old manor-house was demolished, as it was damp (it was clo ...
Founded: 1750-1752 | Location: Vendeuvre, France

Château de Fontaine-Henry

Château de Fontaine-Henry was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries on the foundations of an earlier fortress built by Guillaume de Tilly, sieur de Fontaine-Henry, named in honour of his cousin Henry II of England. The château is still lived in by the descendents of its early owners. The chapel dates from 13th and 16th centuries. The castle"s distinctive feature is its extremely high and steep roofing, t ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Fontaine-Henry, France

Tour des Archives

The Tour des Archives is the keep of a former castle. Its origin goes back to 1123, built by King Henry I of England, the son of William the Conqueror. It is 22m high and is a rare existing example of a round tower in Normandy, like the so-called tour Jeanne d"Arc (Joan of Arc Tower) of the former Rouen Castle. The Tour des Archives has been classified since 1840 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Cul ...
Founded: 1123 | Location: Vernon, France

Château de Montaure

Château de Montaure was built in the early 1700s to the site of feudal castle from the 9th century. The current castle represents the Louis XV style. There are occasional events in the castle area.
Founded: 18th century | Location: Montaure, France

Château de Courcy

The Château de Courcy was mentioned in 1091, when it was owned by Richard de Courcy and besieged by Robert Curthose. At the start of the 17th century, the castle was demolished by order of Richelieu and, losing all military function, slowly became an agricultural enterprise. In 1975, the remaining parts of the former castle including the gate on the road from Tôtes and the gateway to the second enceinte were p ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Courcy, France

Château de Saint-Germain-de-Livet

The famous chateau at Saint-Germain-de-Livet, now open to the public, was built by the Tournebu (later Tournebu-de-Livet) family between 1561 and 1578. Fine group of buildings are typical in the Pays d"Auge, reuniting a timber-framed manor from the second half of the 15th Century and a 16th century residence in glazed brick and stone, a corner tower, moat and lake. The interior is fully furnished. Today the chateau i ...
Founded: 1561-1578 | Location: Saint-Germain-de-Livet, France

Château de Carrouges

Château de Carrouges is unusual in its combination of an austere fortress with a comfortable residence. Originally a Celtinc oppidum, or defensive hill town, located at the southernmost border of the Norman duchy of William the Conqueror, Carrouges was vainly besieged by the Plantagenets in 1136. It was destroyed by the English in 1367, at the beginning of the Hundred Years War. Jean de Carrouges a vassal of Pierre ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Carrouges, France

Château du Breuil

Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, Château du Breuil has been a residence of families Bouquetot, Montgomery, Bence and others. Today it is also one of most prestigious Calvados distilleries (created in 1954). It offers to its visitors guided tours as well as tastings of old Calvados around the year.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Breuil-en-Auge, France

Château de Canon

The history of Château de Canon originates from The Middle Ages, when it was owned by Franqueville (15th century), Sarcilly (16th century) and Bérenger families. In 1727 Robert Bérenger sold the castle to de la Rocque, who build a new castle, pond and garden. Today it is a 20ha estate, perfectly preserved from the 18th century. There is a French-English style park with period decorations like marble st ...
Founded: 1727 | Location: Mézidon-Canon, France

Château de Bricquebec

According the tradition the first castle in Bricquebec was built by Anslec with Scandinavian origin, who was related to the Duke of Normandy, William Longsword. Later Bricquebec Castle was owned by Robert I Bertran, who accompanied William the Conqueror in the conquest of England in 1066. His son, Robert II Bertran, is believed to have taken part in the taking of Jerusalem during the First Crusade in 1096. After the annex ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bricquebec, France

Château de Querqueville

The construction of Château de Querqueville was probably built in 1730 by Barbou family. Napoleon I visited in the castle in 1811. In 1938 it was acquired by the Querqueville community as a town hall.
Founded: 1730 | Location: Querqueville, France

Château de Bénouville

The Château de Bénouville was designed in 1769 by architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux and built in 1770-74 and 1776-80 at the request of Hyppolite-François Sanguin, marquis of Livry (1715–1789) and his marquise Thérèse Bonne Gillain de Bénouville, heiress of the property. Bénouville is one of the best preserved works of Ledoux, making it a major monument of neoclassical ar ...
Founded: 1770-1780 | Location: Bénouville, France

Château de Balleroy

Built in 1631 by the celebrated architect François Mansart (1598-1666) at the request of Jean de Choisy, the Château de Balleroy and its surrounding buildings are one of the first urban plans that inspired other chateaux, including Versailles. All the buildings were built from scratch. The chateau itself has retained almost all of its original features and it is because of this that it witnessed the major inn ...
Founded: 1631 | Location: Balleroy, France

Château de Robert le Diable

The Château de Robert le Diable (also known as Château de Moulineaux) was a feudal castle from the time of the Dukes of Normandy. It is named after Robert the Devil who was also known as Robert de Montgomery and Robert le Magnifique ("the magnificent"). He was the Duke of Normandy and father of William the Conqueror. However, there is no evidence that this person was involved in the construction. Th ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: La Londe, France

Château de la Motte

The history of Château de la Motte began as a Viking motte and bailey fortress and evolved into the 18th and 19th century Château seen today. The two most noted families who owned the site were the Gabriel Montgommerys and the Nicolas Angos, but its role as Resistance center in World War II may be its most notable episode. Long established Norman châteaux, like Château de la Motte, usually origina ...
Founded: c. 1700 | Location: Joué-du-Plain, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Eketorp Fort

Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.

The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.

In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.

Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.

Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.