Château de Château-Thierry

Château-Thierry, France

During the 8th century, Charles Martel kept king Theuderic IV prisoner in the castle of Otmus. At this time, the town took the name of Castrum Theodorici, later transformed in Château-Thierry (Castle of Thierry, Thierry is the French or early Roman language translation of Theuderic). In 946, the castle of Château-Thierry was the home of Herbert le-Vieux, Count of Omois of the House of Vermandois & Soissons.

In 1060, Hughes Lambert leveled the top of the hill. The castle of which we see the present-day ruins was founded in the 12th century by the Counts of Champagne. Château-Thierry Castle was rebuilt between 1220 and 1230 by Theobald IV, Count of Champagne, and until 1285 fell under the Lords of Coucy. After that date the castle was part of the royal domain, and then ceded in the early 15th century to Louis I, Duke of Orléans. After his death in 1407 the castle returned to the royal domain.

During the 15th and 16th century the castle was adapted to the use of firearms. The town and castle were taken by the English in 1421 and in 1544 by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor.

The Duchy of Château-Thierry was later given to the Bouillon Family, who left it without proper maintenance, causing the castle to fall into ruin.

At present you can see the remains of an enclosure which was defended on the north side by a wall with 8 circular towers with arrow slits, dating back to the early 13th century, and on the south side by a wall with rectangular towers with breeches for guns. One of these towers contains a staircase leading into the gardens. There are also remnants of the gate and the Roman keep and foundations of several other buildings to be seen. The size of the enclosure is very large so this must have been a formidable castle.

At present the site of Château-Thierry Castle can be visited freely during daytime.



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Founded: 8th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

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User Reviews

MNV Nicu (3 years ago)
Beautiful historic place well kept
Ljubicalj Nikolic (5 years ago)
Beautifull historical place.
Sandrine Wilhelm (5 years ago)
Susan Asch (7 years ago)
The charming stone ruins of the Château on the hill, overlooking the river Marne cutting through the town of Château Thierry, has a magnificent panoramic view of the valley often used as a defensive position from the Middle Ages through the World Wars. There is a traditional 13th century medieval village on top of the hill with costumed tradesmen and a medicinal herb garden open to the public in the summer and an avian show all year round with live falcons and eagles who fly over the ramparts of Thibault count of Champagne 's former castle and market fairgrounds still being dug out of an archeological site. The US military cemetery visible with its tall white pillars on a neighboring hill in Belleau woods (1917-2017) is currently commemorating the centenary of American troops who fought there in WWI. The American church at the base of the Château has exhibits in remembrance of those who fell here. In mid-October, the festival Champagne et Vous is held in tents on the ramparts for local producers to present their champagnes to the public in a festive atmosphere with music, a cooking contest, demonstrations of traditional techniques and equipment. It's a great place to have lunch and taste different champagnes, as local producers are happy to explain their techniques and the flavors of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes which become champagne. There's the Route de Champagne which starts here and goes through the champagne fields to Epernay and on to Reims. For the children, don't forget to visit Jean de la Fontaine 's house. His fables are classic children's literature much like Aesop's fables. There's a road trip to follow his characters to discover the region.
Irfan Uddin (7 years ago)
I've shared the photos. It's was a great journey with my friends. My first journey out from Paris and it was GREAT! Chateau - Thierry should be visited during the summer as there are lovely places around to have a picnic with family and friends.
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