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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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 (3 years 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 (3 years ago)
Visited outdoors and the park, quite nice
Vincent J. Miró (3 years 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 (3 years 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 (3 years 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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The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.