The Château de Saché is a stately home built from the converted remains of a feudal castle. It was here, between 1830 and 1837, that the French writer Honoré de Balzac wrote some of his finest works in the series La Comédie Humaine, comprising nearly 90 novels, in which he attempted to reflect every aspect of French society at that time.
The château was owned by Balzac's friend, Jean de Margonne, his mother's lover and the father of her youngest child. The writer would often spend long periods staying here, away from his turbulent life in Paris, writing 14 to 16 hours a day. After supper he would sleep a few hours, wake around midnight and write until morning, sustained by large amounts of coffee.
Since 1951, the château has been open as an evocative museum dedicated to Balzac. His small second-floor bedroom has a simple bed and writing desk where so many of his often tormented characters were conceived.
The château was built upon the foundations of a twelfth-century fortified house, of which a cylindrical tower and dry moats remain. The building was successively transformed in the 16th through 18th centuries. It has been listed as a monument historique since June 1983 by the French Ministry of Culture.References:
Dunluce Castle is a ruined medieval castle located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.
In the 13th century, Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, built the first castle at Dunluce. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers about 9 metres in diameter on the eastern side, both relics of a stronghold built here by the McQuillans after they became lords of the Route.
The McQuillans were the Lords of Route from the late 13th century until they were displaced by the MacDonnell after losing two major battles against them during the mid- and late-16th century.
Later Dunluce Castle became the home of the chief of the Clan MacDonnell of Antrim and the Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg from Scotland.
In 1588 the Girona, a galleass from the Spanish Armada, was wrecked in a storm on the rocks nearby. The cannons from the ship were installed in the gatehouses and the rest of the cargo sold, the funds being used to restore the castle.
Dunluce Castle served as the seat of the Earl of Antrim until the impoverishment of the MacDonnells in 1690, following the Battle of the Boyne. Since that time, the castle has deteriorated and parts were scavenged to serve as materials for nearby buildings.