The Vieux-château de l'île d'Yeu ("Old castle of the Isle of Yeu") is a fortification on the island of île d'Yeu. Olivier IV de Clisson, a great builder of castles, undertook the work with the aim of protecting the islanders in the event of foreign invasion. The longest of these had been led by the famous English pirate, Robert Knolles, who managed to seize the castle in 1355 and occupied the island for 37 years. In 1381, the île d'Yeu was retaken during the reconquest of Poitou by Olivier V de Clisson.
During the Renaissance, Jean V de Rieux, master of the isle, erected towered walls around the castle. This type of construction was carried out by Italian engineers brought back from the Italian Wars by King Francis I. Later, Vauban perfected this style of military architecture for his famous forts. This protection proved effective in 1550 when several thousand Spanish soldiers attacked from the north. Held in check under the walls by the local garrison, they were forced to retreat by sea to the Iberian peninsula.
The Vieux-château, made obsolete by the construction between (1654 and 1660) of small coastal forts following Vauban's technique, was demolished at the end of the 17th century, along with several other ancient castles on the French coast, by order of Louis XIV, worried that they could be taken by an enemy and used as strong points.
Hergé was inspired by the Vieux-château in the design of the Adventures of Tintin comic book The Black Island.References:
The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.
Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.
Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.
In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.
The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.