Château de Ballon

Ballon-Saint-Mars, France

Château de Ballon is mentioned from the beginning of the 11th century. It is said to have been built by Robert I of Bellême to serve as a stronghold against the family of the Counts of Maine. The fortress quickly became the target of the Normans who sought to conquer the southern region.

From the 12th century onwards, Ballon passed into the hands of the Chaources family, who held the castle for two hundred years. The lordship was then under Anglo-Norman influence. In order to end the Plantagenet hegemony, Philip Augustus traveled to Maine. He captured Ballon twice in 1189 and 1199. The Ballon fortress was then burned and dismantled. Philip Augustus had it rebuilt and placed Hugues de Beauçais in charge.

During the Hundred Years' War, the fortress had to endure several sieges and was ravaged an conquered several times. The reconstruction of the keep and the part of Ballon began in 1469. 

Today Château de Ballon is a triangle form castle with corner towers and moat. It has remarkable gardens built in the 1960s.

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