The Château de Bouges is a manor was built in 1765, probably by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. It was built on lands acquired by Charles-François Leblanc de Manarval, the master of the royal forges and the director of the royal manufacturer of cloth in Châteauroux. 

The château was modeled after the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles. In 1818, the château became the property of Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the former foreign minister of Napoleon Bonaparte. Talleyrand put it at the disposition of his niece and, according to rumors, his one-time mistress,Dorothée de Courlande (1793-1862). She was also owner from 1828 à 1847 of the Château de Rochecotte at Saint-Patrice.Then chateau was purchased by Tunisian general Mahmoud Benaiad.

In 1917, the château was purchased by Henry Viguier and his wife, Renée Normant, who restored it, decorated and refurbished it. Viguier was the président-directeur-général of the Paris department store Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville. In addition to the château, he owned a Paris town house on the avenue Foch, a manor house in Houlgate and a villa in Grasse. The Viguiers, who had no children, left the house and its furniture to the French state in 1968.

The château has a park of eighty hectares, which include a landscape garden, an arboretum, a floral garden created in 1920, large greenhouses, and a formal French garden. It also includes large stables which were later used as garages by the last owners. The manor is classified as a monument historique and the gardens are listed by the Ministry of Culture as among the Notable Gardens of France. The château and gardens are open to the public.

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Founded: 1765
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in France

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Patricia Faure (5 months ago)
Un lieu enchanteur, comme hors du temps. L'impression était renforcée avec les sublimes décorations de Noël. Il ne manquait que la neige pour ajouter à la féerie et à la magie. Ce château est beau en toute saison et je n'ai jamais vu des bouquets de fleurs aussi époustouflants, quelle que soit la période. J'y reviens toujours avec plaisir.
Adam Lewis (6 months ago)
Le marché de Noël est magnifique, le prix est très raisonnable (3e et gratuit pour les.-12 ans) les écuries reçoivent beaucoup d'entreprises local mais le plus gros travail est celui de la décoration, même à l'intérieur du château, la visite est compris dans le prix annoncé ! Bravo encore une fois pour cette réussite !
Gerry Samuel (8 months ago)
Great example of a French chateau.
rosie boyes (10 months ago)
Nice visit
Rob Haans (3 years ago)
Nice little castle in a gigantic garden/parc. You can spend the entire day just in the garden..
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.