Chateaux of Normandy

Château de Bonnemare

Château de Bonnemare was built to the site of medieval manor in the mid-1500s by Nicolas Leconte. Later it has been owned among others by Étienne de Fieux (1637), Cromelin de Villette family (18th century), Charles Le Blond, and Gustave Gatine (1888), the predecessor of current owners. The castle consists of main building, gatehouse and Renaissance chapel from the 16th century. Today Bonnemare is a hotel. The notable d ...
Founded: 1570 | Location: Radepont, France

Château de Cany

With its majestic main courtyard and its outbuildings, the Château de Cany still evokes the austere splendor of Louis XIII. It was built between 1640 and 1646 by François Mansart. It still preserves its old furnishing and is today a hotel.
Founded: 1640-1646 | Location: Cany Barville, France

Château du Champ de Bataille

Château du Champ-de-Bataille is Baroque castle built in the 17th century for the Maréchal de Créqui. In 1650 Alexandre de Créquy-Bernieulle (1628–1703) was arrested and exiled to the province by Cardinal Mazarin. He built the Château du Champ-de-Bataille between 1653 and 1665. The French formal garden was created beginning in 1992 by a new owner, interior designer Jacques Garcia. It ...
Founded: 1653-1655 | Location: Sainte-Opportune-du-Bosc, France

Château de Gaillon

Château de Gaillon was one of the first Renaissance buildings in France. Georges d'Amboise, Cardinal Archbishop of Rouen, started the reconstruction of medieval fort in 1502. It was completed in 1510 and the next cardinal continued the decoration work until 1550. It became one of the most ambitious and significant French building projects of its time, representing the early Renaissance palatial style. Georges d'Amboise ...
Founded: 1502-1550 | Location: Gaillon, 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 des Montgommery

The Ducey domain came into the hands of the old Norman Montgommery family in 1521 after the wedding of James Montgommery to Claude de la Boissière, the heiress to the lands of Ducey. The castle was built at the beginning of the 17th century by Gabriel II de Montgommery, one of the sons of Montgommery first who became famous for killing Henry II, king of France, by accident in a tournament on 30th June 1559. He conv ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Ducey, France

Château de Conches-en-Ouche

The construction of Château de Conches-en-Ouche started in 1034 by Roger I of Tosny. The castle was captured by Philip II of France in 1199 and again by the English during the Hundred Years" War in 1364. It was recaptured by Bertrand du Guesclin in 1371. The castle was lost again in 1420, retaken in 1440, lost once more in 1441 before being finally taken by the French in 1449. In 1591, members of the Catholic L ...
Founded: 1034 | Location: Conches-en-Ouche, France

Château de Fleury-la-Forêt

Château de Fleury-la-Forêt is an impressive red-brick castle built in 1595 by Pierre de Courcol. It was partially destroyed by fire in 1643, but restored by Charles de Caumont later. The new chapel was founded in 1658. The two wings were added during the next restoration in 1700. Today Château de Fleury-la-Forêt is a hotel.
Founded: 1595 | Location: Fleury-la-Forêt, France

Château d'Ételan

In 1494 Louis Picart, magistrate of Troyes and Tournaisis, friend and chamberlain of King Louis XII with whom he went to Italy, undertook the construction of the Château d"Ételan. It was built on the site of a fortress which has been destroyed under the order of Louis XI. Of the medieval construction, only the cellar, the castle wall and the guard house dating from 1350 remain. The castle was later conv ...
Founded: 1494 | Location: Saint-Maurice-d'Ételan, France

Château de Verneuil-sur-Avre Ruins

Château de Verneuil-sur-Avre has attested since XIe century. It formed with Tillières-on-Avre and Nonancourt a defensive curtain against the possible incursions in Normandy of the counts de Chartres. Philippe Auguste built there after 1204 one of his famous circular towers.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Verneuil-sur-Avre, France

Château de Vire Ruins

Château de Vire was built in the 11th and 12th centuries. Today only a keep, donjon, remains.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Vire, France

Château de Montfort-sur-Risle

Château de Montfort-sur-Risle was built in 1035 by Count Hugues I. It was destroyed already in 1204 during the siege by John, King of England. Since them it has lied in ruins.
Founded: 1035 | Location: Montfort-sur-Risle, 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'Ô

Château d"Ô was built in the 15th and 17th centuries with a flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance style. A moat surrounds the castle. Guided tours are available parts to the orangery and inside the castle.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Mortrée, 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 Galleville

Château de Galleville is remarkable for ifs great unity of style. The castle was built in 1678 by Roque de Varengeville, counsellor to King Louis XIV and also his ambassador in Venice (a city in which he would develop a passion for stucco architecture, later applying this decorative technique to the chateau"s chapel. A continuous line of ownership by inheritance or marriage can be traced from the present owners ...
Founded: 1678 | Location: Galleville, France

Château-sur-Epte Ruins

The Château-sur-Epte Castle construction was begun in 1097 by William Rufus, King of England, to reinforce the frontier of Epte. The castle occupied a site on the border between the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of France. In 1119, it was besieged by Louis VI of France and reinforced by the Plantagenets in the 12th century and again during the Hundred Years" War. In the 12th century, it was restored and re ...
Founded: 1097 | Location: Château-sur-Epte, France

Château de Pontécoulant

Pontécoulant estate presents all the distinctive features of nobility: castle, gamekeeper and gardener"s detached house, dovecote, landscaping park, vegetable garden, guest houses, farm, woods and grounds. The Le Doulcet de Pontécoulant family arrived there in the 14th century. Their home was rebuilt in the 16th century and enlarged in the 17th. Since the second part of 17th century, the family has live ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Pontécoulant, France

Château de Sassy

Château de Sassy was built of stone and bricks in the 18th century. It has imposing four levels of terraces. The Duke d’Audiffret-Pasquier, ancestor of the present owners, bought Sassy in 1850 and converted the east wing into a library, in order to house the important Parisian collection of his uncle, the Chancellor Pasquier. Visitors can admire a fine furniture, various Aubusson and Gobelins tapestries and i ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Saint-Christophe-le-Jajolet, France

Manoir de Villers

The Manoir de Villers was built between courtyard and garden in 1581. A 'Master House' was made of local stone, with a half-timbered storey covered with small tiles. It was transformed and extended through centuries, to become this great manor in neo-Norman style, with the roofing inspired from the best houses of Rouen, and façade dressed up with a strange 'trompe l"oeil'. Welcomed in the h ...
Founded: 1581 | Location: Saint-Pierre-de-Manneville, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Church of the Savior on Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.

Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.

In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.