Chateaux of Normandy

Château de Vascoeuil

Château de Vascoeuil is a beautiful 15th century castle with a museum and sculpture park in the gardens. A noble house built after the Hundred Years War, the château hosts the museum of Jules Michelet, dedicated to the famous French historian, in one of its outbuildings. Wander around the grounds of the estate, through the typically French gardens, to uncover the sculptures that have been placed amongst the be ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vascœuil, France

Château du Bosc Théroulde

In 1598, Jacques Le Faë, Adviser to the King, acquired the property from the Cormeilles Family and built the present Château du Bosc Théroulde. Built in Louis XIII style of bricks, construction started in 1616 was completed in 1632. He married Anne Petit, then died in 1630, and the estate is ruled by his wife on behalf of her nobles children until 1637. Adrien Le Faë inherited the estate and was mad ...
Founded: 1616-1632 | Location: Bosc-Guérard-Saint-Adrien, France

Château de Beaumont-le-Richard

Château de Beaumont-le-Richard is named after Richard du Hommet (1115-1180), who built the castle. With the decline of the seigniory, the castle was replaced by a farm, which functioned up until World War II. Today everything but the chapel is in ruins. The private chapel was dedicated in 1640 and other farm buildings were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The castle and the surrounding terrain is private prope ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Englesqueville-la-Percée, France

Château de Brécourt

Château de Brécourt was built in 1625. It consists of a moat and U-shaped main building. Today it is a hotel.
Founded: 1625 | Location: Douains, France

Château de Gavray Ruins

Château de Gavray was the castle of local Dukes, built in the 11th century. It was first time mentioned in 1091 and in 1123 some enhancements (probably a tower) was done. The castle was besieged and conquered in the Hundred Years War". In the 17th century it was lost is purpose and demolished. Today ruins remain on the site.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Gavray, France

Château de Filières

In 1467 Jehan de Fillières bought the current Château de Filières estate and built a new building to the site of castle destroyed in Hundred Years" War. This was burnt down in 1591 during the Wars of Religion. The next castle was built in Henry IV style around 1599. Louise-Catherine Chardon de Filières rebuilt the castle again in 1767-1768.
Founded: 1599-1768 | Location: Gommerville, France

Manoir du Catel

Manoir du Catel was built between 1267-1270 by Richard Treigots, the abbot of Fécamp Abbey. It is one of the oldest and best-preserved Norman style fortified manor houses. It consists of towers in four corners, fortified gatehouse and moat.
Founded: 1267-1270 | Location: Écretteville-lès-Baons, France

Château de Vimer

Château de Vimer was built in the early 1700s by Nollet de Malvoüe. It consists of main building and park built in 1840. During the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 the château was a field hospital.
Founded: 18th century | Location: Guerquesalles, France

Château Ganne Ruins

Château Ganne was an ancient castle built in the 11th and 12th centuries by La Pommeraye family. The big storm on the December 1999 destroyed the the castle ruins and today only basement and some walls remain.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Cossesseville, France

Château du Vaudroc

Château du Vaudroc was built to the site of Benedictine Priory from 1746. The park is open to the public couple of times annually.
Founded: 1746 | Location: Limpiville, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora

Monastery of São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls) is a 17th-century church and monastery in the city of Lisbon. It is one of the most important monasteries and mannerist buildings in the country. The monastery also contains the royal pantheon of the Braganza monarchs of Portugal.

The original Monastery of São Vicente de Fora was founded around 1147 by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, for the Augustinian Order. The Monastery, built in Romanesque style outside the city walls, was one of the most important monastic foundations in mediaeval Portugal. It is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics were brought from the Algarve to Lisbon in the 12th century.

The present buildings are the result of a reconstruction ordered by King Philip II of Spain, who had become King of Portugal (as Philip I) after a succession crisis in 1580. The church of the monastery was built between 1582 and 1629, while other monastery buildings were finished only in the 18th century. The author of the design of the church is thought to be the Italian Jesuit Filippo Terzi and/or the Spaniard Juan de Herrera. The plans were followed and modified by Leonardo Turriano, Baltazar Álvares, Pedro Nunes Tinoco and João Nunes Tinoco.

The church of the Monastery has a majestic, austere façade that follows the later Renaissance style known as Mannerism. The façade, attributed to Baltazar Álvares, has several niches with statues of saints and is flanked by two towers (a model that would become widespread in Portugal). The lower part of the façade has three arches that lead to the galilee (entrance hall). The floorplan of the church reveals a Latin cross building with a one-aisled nave with lateral chapels. The church is covered by barrel vaulting and has a huge dome over the crossing. The general design of the church interior follows that of the prototypic church of Il Gesù, in Rome.

The beautiful main altarpiece is a Baroque work of the 18th century by one of the best Portuguese sculptors, Joaquim Machado de Castro. The altarpiece has the shape of a baldachin and is decorated with a large number of statues. The church also boasts several fine altarpieces in the lateral chapels.

The Monastery buildings are reached through a magnificent baroque portal, located beside the church façade. Inside, the entrance is decorated with blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery, including scenes of the Siege of Lisbon in 1147. The ceiling of the room has an illusionistic painting executed in 1710 by the Italian Vincenzo Baccarelli. The sacristy of the Monastery is exuberantly decorated with polychromed marble and painting. The cloisters are also notable for the 18th century tiles that recount fables of La Fontaine, among other themes.

In 1834, after the religious orders were dissolved in Portugal, the monastery was transformed into a palace for the archbishops of Lisbon. Some decades later, King Ferdinand II transformed the monks' old refectory into a pantheon for the kings of the House of Braganza. Their tombs were transferred from the main chapel to this room.