Château de Sully-sur-Loire

Sully-sur-Loire, France

The Château de Sully-sur-Loire is a castle converted to a palatial seigneurial residence. The château is the seat of the duc de Sully, Henri IV's minister Maximilien de Béthune (1560–1641), and the ducs de Sully. It is a château-fort, a true castle, built to control one of the few sites where the Loire can be forded; the site has perhaps been fortified since Gallo-Roman times, certainly since the beginning of the eleventh century. In 1218, Philip Augustus constructed a cylindrical keep to the south of the present enclosure, of which buried foundations remain. Guy de la Trémoille, inheriting the fortress, undertook the construction of the Donjon, flanked by four towers, beginning in 1395. The smaller side was added in the 16th century to provide more agreeable accommodation. Sully bought the domaine in 1602, enlarged the park and the fortress; he strengthened the embankments of the Loire to protect the town from occasional flooding.

The Château de Sully-sur-Loire remained in the possession of the family until 1962 when it became a property of the Département du Loiret, and has since benefited from numerous restorations. It hosts a classical music festival each June. The château contains numerous tapestries, including a set of six 17th century hangings, paintings of Sully's ancestors and heirs, and 17th century furnishings. Here is also the tomb of Sully and that of his second wife.

Henri IV never visited, but Mazarin and Anne of Austria took refuge here in March 1652 during the rigors of the Fronde, France's civil war. Turenne stayed here the same year, before his defeat of the Grand Condé at the battle of Bléneau. Later, in 1716 and again in 1719 the château sheltered Voltaire, when he had been exiled from Paris for affronting the Régent, Philippe, duc d'Orléans.

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Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Niccolò Avico (18 months ago)
Fast visit, there's not much to see inside.
Will Rathouse (2 years ago)
Beautiful chateau with a range of different period interiors. A woodland walk leads to a grotto.
Sam Burnett (2 years ago)
Fascinating castle brought to life through vivid and thorough descriptions in each room and a video near the beginning that dramatises key moments from its history. Even better was the cow market just by the back garden as we left.
Jonathan Hodgins (2 years ago)
Beautifully well kept castle which has a large most around it and many rooms which you can access. There's a short 10 minute movie that shows how the castle has gone through its many stages also which I found very helpfull.
Sander Zijlstra (2 years ago)
Nice castle near the Loire. Visit will take around 30 - 45 minutes. Only part of the castle is accessible and only a small part of the castle is furnished.
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