Château de Jonzac

Jonzac, France

Château de Jonzac is situated in the Charente-Maritime, France. The castle, dating back to 1073, had its first known lord, Guillaume de la Rochandry, in the early 12th century. The inscription of 1449 indicates its reconstruction after damages from the Hundred Years' War. In 1505, Jean de Sainte-Maure founded the Carmelite monastery on the castle's remains. The castle hosted notable figures, including Louis XIV, the Queen Mother, and Mazarin, in 1659.

The Sainte-Maure family held the castle until the late 17th century, passing through marriage to the Espardes de Lussan until the Revolution. Currently, the north wing houses the City Hall, restored in the 19th century, and the south wing accommodates the sub-prefecture. The cloister, restored in 1976-1978, now serves as a cultural center with exhibition rooms and an archaeological museum.

The medieval enclosure includes a moat, later filled in the 19th century but reopened in the early 21st century. The imposing entrance gatehouse, marked 1549, is from the 16th century, as is the northwest tower. The smaller-diameter southwest tower is from the 17th century. The courtyard, surrounded by modified buildings, underwent alterations in the 19th century.

The castle features an intricate facade along the Seugne River, retaining crenellations, corbelled turrets, and balustrade balconies. The towers have slate roofs with tall pepper-pot designs. The entrance gatehouse has a peculiar double-pitched roof connecting two pepper-pots.

The castle, serving as a public building, houses the City Hall and sub-prefecture.



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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)


4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Phillip Spencer (2 years ago)
Lovely looking building but unfortunately undergoing renovations so town side is mostly obscured by scaffolding.
Martin Davallan (5 years ago)
Shame you can't properly visit, as its divided into town hall and administrative buildings. Beautiful architecture.
Nathan Betts (6 years ago)
Impressive architecture, didn't get to look inside as we had been to Jonzac's night market and so arrived too late.
Paul Hein (6 years ago)
An attractive building but you can't go inside. The grounds are very beautiful and well worth a while sitting and appreciating the surroundings
Lucia Palmer (6 years ago)
Very historic. You have to pay an entry fee .they do have a little souvenir shop It's well worth a visit .
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