Château de Culan

Culan, France

The Château de Culan is a French medieval castle located in the commune of Culan. The castle, listed as a Monument historique at the start of the 20th century and classified for its walls and roofs in 1956, has known a turbulent history. It is built on a rocky outcrop dominating the River Arnon (a site naturel classé - classified natural site). The first wooden construction, of which nothing remains, was demolished in the 10th century. A second building was besieged and destroyed by King Philip II Augustus of France (1188), then at war with Henry II Plantagenet, king of England.

The present castle dates from 12th century until 15th century, with additions from the Renaissance. It has belonged, among the others, to Admiral Louis de Culant (1360 – 1444), to Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully (1599 – 1621), and later the Prince de Condé. In 1651, during the Fronde, Mazarin laid siege to the town with royal troops and destroyed the 15th century ramparts. During the Revolution, the castle lands were shared among several families and the fortress was sold as national property. The castle received several famous visitors: Joan of Arc, Louis XI, Sully, Madame de Sévigné, the novelist George Sand and Ernest Renan. General Charles de Gaulle, visiting Saint-Amand-Montrond after the war, preferred to sleep in a private house in the Rue de l'Église.

The château de Culan is in excellent condition. It was restored between 1950 and 1980 by an earlier owner, Jean Ferragut, who organised exhibitions there (Pablo Picasso, Bernard Buffet, Flemish tapestries, etc.) It is one of the few castles to still have wooden turrets which allowed stones and other projectiles to be thrown down onto attackers. The castle has beautiful monumental fireplaces from the 15th century. Around the castle, at the end of the 20th century, 'medieval gardens' were laid out.

The present owners, Jean Pierre Marquis and Edouard Marquis (father and son), are continuing the work of restoration and preservation.

The castle is open to visitors every day from Easter to the end of October. Medieval weekends are organised in July and August as well as torchlight tours on some summer evenings.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Colette Thomas (6 months ago)
Visite agréable et parfois insolite. ... Merci au propriétaire d avoir ouvert son château gratuitement aux habitants de Culan ...
Gisèle (7 months ago)
Château qui vaut vraiment le détour. Le propriétaire fait lui même le guide pour nous faire découvrir son château et son histoire qui est passionnante. Nous sommes tombés sous le charme de ce château et avons passé un après-midi formidable. Des visiteurs du Puy de Dôme
Manuel Déron (10 months ago)
On ne sait pas ce qu'est une visite guidée avant d'avoir suivi le guide de ce château. Il profite des murs de cette ancienne forteresse pour nous apprendre comment et pourquoi nos ancêtres du moyen âge vivaient de cette manière. Il nous transmet avec engouement ses connaissances et la visite guidée passe d'un trait. Comptez ~3h30 pour tout faire, vous pouvez visiter seul et rapidement mais c'est tellement dommage :)
rosie boyes (11 months ago)
No guides to be found. So not allowed into chateau. Not a favourite
Helen James (2 years ago)
Pretty chateau. Visit by guided tour only. Not for those who don't understand French fluently as there is an awful lot of time spent standing in one place listening to the guide's rapid commentary. French adults found him amusing so I suspect he is good - just not accessible to those with limited French or with small children
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