Château de Montreuil-Bellay

Montreuil-Bellay, France

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay is a historical castle first built on the site of a Gallo-Roman village high on a hill on the banks of the Thouet River. It is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.

During the medieval period the property, consisting of more than 1,000 acres (4.0 km2), was part of a group of 32 villages near-by that created the then known as "L'Anjou". The Mountreil-Bellay fief, first belonged to Gelduin le Danois afterward by regal hereditary passed to Berlay le Vieux who became the first Sir of Bellay, in 1025 the castle was seized by Foulque Nerra a Plantagenet making Giraud Berlay his vassal during the second half of the 12th century. After the defeat of the English by Philip II, the fief returned to a descendant of the Berlay le Vieux family Sir of Bellay, Guillaume de Melun, during this period the fief went under a big renovation by the creation of high massive walls construction including 13 interlocking towers, with entry only via a fortified gateway and the name was anglicized from Barley to Balley.

During the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598) the town of Montreuil-Bellay was ransacked and burned but the sturdy fortress suffered little damage. Ownership of the castle changed several times including, through marriage, to the Cossé-Brissac family. During the French Revolution the castle was seized by the revolutionary government and used as a prison for women suspected of being royalists.

In 1822 the property was acquired by Saumur businessman Adrien Niveleau, who divided the huge property into rental units. In 1860 Niveleau's daughter undertook occupancy and a major restoration campaign, redoing some of the rooms in the Troubadour style. Descendants of her husband’s nephew are the current owners of the property.

Nowadays, Château de Montreuil-Bellay is also the name of a premium wine made on the property.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Boakye Vincent (4 months ago)
The Château de Montreuil-Bellay has a rich history dating back to the 11th century. Originally a fortress, it evolved over the centuries into a more residential castle. It witnessed various historical events, including conflicts during the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of Religion. Today, it stands as a testament to medieval architecture and French history.
Vijay Bhardwaj (13 months ago)
Wonderful castle. Well worth a visit with an accredited guide. Good views from and inside the castle. Today the castle was visited by the french army - 2nd Dragons based nearby. Friendly forces.
Angeline Thomas (2 years ago)
We arrive here after lunch and they are still open for tourist and the entrance is already a wow factor. The people in the reception are friendly and accommodating. The castle is well maintained, interesting old furnitures and the garden is absolutely gorgeous specially now the fall season there are lots of color around. We enjoyed our tour. Merci!
faith coates (2 years ago)
Absolutely stunning Chateau well worth the visit. Lovely staff and a great english guide book you can take with you
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