Château de Montgeoffroy

Mazé, France

The Château de Montgeoffroy is an 18th century manor house located in the commune of Mazé (Maine-et-Loire), France.

In 1676, Érasme de Contades acquired the property. In 1772, the Marshal Louis Georges Érasme de Contades, governor of Alsace, decided to rebuild the château as a retirement home. He called on the Parisian architect Jean-Benoît-Vincent Barré, who worked with the local architect Simier.

The marshal being far from Anjou, the work was directed primarily by his son, le marquis de Contades, his daughter-in-law, Julie Constantin de Marans, his mistress, Hélène Hérault, and her daughter-in-law, Marie-Marguerite Magon de La Lande. It took three years. The old château was burned down, but Barré appreciated its U shape and kept two towers and the moat, as well as the chapel, which dated from 1543.

The building miraculously survived the French Revolution and the Revolt in the Vendée conserving its common buildings, agricultural structures, chapel and park. It also kept its archives and its furniture, which was studied by Pierre Verlet.

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Address

Montgeoffroy, Mazé, France
See all sites in Mazé

Details

Founded: 1772
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Pascal Guignard (5 months ago)
One of my favourite locations to visit in the area. The visit "à la chandelle" gives an interesting twist to the tourist / visitor's experience !
Oliviu Sarb (6 months ago)
Visited outdoors and the park, quite nice
Vincent J. Miró (7 months ago)
If you are in for authentic second and third rate antiques and nameless paintings this is the place to go otherwise just avoid. I personally have seen far better pieces in a number of private homes where I don't need to pay an entrance fee. Sometimes pretending the small crowd they have treasures for you to see gets a little annoying as when they try to pass off a copy of Rigaud's Loius XIV as by the hand of the painter. The garden is plain, empty and boring but the stables effigy of a horse is so awkwardly drawn it's ludicrous. The exterior is so symmetrically chocolate box it makes you bluff. All in all it's not worth the mention, let alone an hour and a half visit.
Mc J (8 months ago)
One of the best 'chateau'-experiences we had with our kids (around 10). Although you can only visit most of the ground floors and only on a guided tour, it was really interesting. All original furniture and small items from 18th century, all explained in a nice, somewhat ironic way. As the castle ist still privately owned you will also find some fotographs of the current owners... For a few Euros more you can also visit the castles garden and park. Higly recommended as you can freely wander around, sit under trees, find liitle surprises like an old newspaper inlay in an old cupboard in a garden house. So, might be less impressive in terms of architecture than other Loire castles but much more impressions to take home. There is also a pick nick area in the part, a small playground and some farm animals.
John Isaacs (14 months ago)
We visited here a few years ago and were so glad we made the effort, this is a stunning place .
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Beersel Castle

The moated castle at Beersel is one of the few exceptionally well-preserved examples of medieval fortifications in Belgium. It remains pretty much as it must have appeared in the 15th century. Remarkably, it was never converted into a fortified mansion. A visitor is able to experience at first-hand how it must have felt to live in a heavily fortified castle in the Middle Ages.

The castle was built in around 1420 as a means of defence on the outer reaches of Brussels. The tall, dense walls and towers were intended to hold any besiegers at bay. The moat and the marshy ground along its eastern, southern and western edges made any attack a formidable proposition. For that reason, any attackers would have chosen its weaker northern defences where the castle adjoins higher lying ground. But the castle was only taken and destroyed on one occasion in 1489, by the inhabitants of Brussels who were in rebellion against Maximilian of Austria.

After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.

The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.

Nowadays, the castle is dominated by three massive towers. The means of defence follow the classic pattern: a wide, deep moat surrounding the castle, a drawbridge, merlons on the towers, embrasures in the walls and in the towers, at more or less regular intervals, and machiolations. Circular, projecting towers ensured that attacks from the side could be thwarted. If the enemy were to penetrate the outer wall, each tower could be defended from embrasures facing onto the inner courtyard.

The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.