Château de la Roche Courbon

Saint-Porchaire, France

Château de la Roche Courbon is a large château, developed from an earlier castle, in the Charente-Maritime département of France. A castle was built around 1475 by Jehan de Latour, on site which had been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the 17th century, the Courbon family, which had occupied the castle for two centuries, transformed it into a more comfortable residence. More alterations were made in the 18th century, but it was eventually sold in 1817 and then abandoned. It was purchased in 1920 by Paul Chénereau, who restored the château and its gardens. The château is still owned and inhabited by his descendants.

Built in the 15th century, upon a rocky outcrop in the midst of marshland, the original castle was transformed into an elegant residence by Jean-Louis de Courbon, during the 17th century. As the marquis would not flee during the French Revolution, the château was not sold. His daughter Charlotte married an aide de camp of Napoleon. Because upkeep was so expensive, however, the château became abandoned during the following hundred years.

Description

The interior of the château contains decor from the 17th century, in particular a bathroom covered with painted wood panels and sculptures from 1662.

The château has a jardin à la française, redone in 1936–1939, featuring a terrace with an Italian gallery, a monumental stairway, a parterre with four compartments and a fountain, topiary, and statues. The property is entered via the Porte des Lions, an imposing 17th century edifice. Inside the moat is the keep, an ancient machicolated tower.

The gardens include orchard, flower garden, geometrical flower beds and lawns surrounding a small lake ('mirror pool'). The River Bruant flows through the gardens, feeding the water features. Beyond that, an ornamental staircase leads to higher ground, on the far side of the river. The gardens were laid out on marshes, and in addition to drainage improvements it was necessary to support part of them on deep piles driven through the marshland to the sandstone bedrock; these required considerable and very costly attention in the 1930s refurbishment and again in the 1990s.

In the grounds are some Stone Age cave dwellings, at the base of sandstone cliffs, in woodland close by the river Bruant. Prehistoric finds from the site are housed in the keep museum.

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Details

Founded: 1475
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrada Adelaida Patrascanu (8 months ago)
I think this castle is so underrated and it‘s a pity! The surroundings are so beautiful and well-looked after. Also, I found the guided tour to be extremely interesting and informative. The inside of the castle is just wow and so well preserved, but you are not allowed to take photos. If you‘re interested in the prehistoric civilizations, don’t miss the caves (it would be a good idea to have a mosquito repellent with you)! Also, there is a free big parking right in front of the castle.
Toni Dolan (9 months ago)
Tout I'd quite short as you onmy visit 5 rooms but the tour in English on Thursday 12 noon is well informed. Museum is about prehistoric finds in the area and the gardens are lovely. You need sbpit 2 1/2hrs for this visit
Lucia Palmer (9 months ago)
Well ,excellent visit .so much to see and do ..the grounds are extensive. The gardens are So nicely kept .
Djohan Sutanto (13 months ago)
Such a beautiful chateau! Impressive and well preserved. Nothing fancy but filled with lots of story. Excellent landscape and unique antiques inside. Worth visiting!
Nikola Hristov (2 years ago)
Very good tour inside. I love how the owners brought it back to life, by filling it with furniture from about the same period. The kitchen is amazing with the roasting roller. The terracotta floor is magnificent, totally fall in love with it. Gardens - spacious and well mannered
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