Château de Luynes

Luynes, France

An early castle was built in the 10th century, or at the very beginning of the 11th. It was destroyed at the end of that same century during the Anjou-Touraine conflicts; rebuilt in the early 12th century, then refitted in the 13th when the lords of Maillé became barons.

There it consisted of an upper yard and lower yard: in the latter, below the former one, there were barns and stables. If big keep stood in the middle of the upper yard, whose ramparts were two storages higher than they are nowadays, and crowded with wooden galleries (hoardings), the material of which was given by Saint Louis. On the North, the castle was defended by a wide moat dug in the rock, a moat which became double on the east. Between these moats there was a fort which defended access to the castle with the drawbridges.

In the 15th century, the inside of the upper yard was transformed by the building of an elegant brick dwelling. In the 16th century, the dwellings were refitted in the west. In the 17th century, the second duke of Luynes had the keep demolished, and a vast classical wing was built that shut off the south side looking out on the valley.  That wing was partly demolished in the next century. The Castle was partially restored in the 19th century; the drawbridges were replaced by fixed bridges, some towers were levelled down. The dukes of Luynes still own the Castle.

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