Château de Niort

Niort, France

Château de Niort is a medieval castle in the French town of Niort. It consists of two square towers, linked by a 15th-century building and dominates the Sèvre Niortaise valley.

The two donjons are the only remaining part of the castle. The castle was started by Henry II Plantagenet in the 12th century and completed by Richard the Lionheart. It was defended by a rectangular curtain wall and was damaged during the Wars of Religion. In the 18th century, the castle served as a prison.

The present keeps were the central point of a massive fortress. The southern keep is 28m tall, reinforced with turrets. The northern tower is slightly shorter at 23m. Both are flanked with circular turrets at the corners as well as semicircular buttresses. Each of the towers has a spiral staircase serving the upper floors. The Romanesque architecture is of a high quality with the dressed stones closely jointed. The interiors are rather spartan - there is no trace of chimneys, no large windows and no decorative sculpture. In the 15th century the area between the towers was roofed over using the 12th century walls, and turned into a lodging.

Following the first national congress of ethnology in France, held at Niort in 1896, the keep began to take on its present function as a museum, initially housing the collection of Poitevin costumes.

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Address

Place du Donjon 8, Niort, France
See all sites in Niort

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

stuart lawes (7 months ago)
Imposing castle in centre of the town
DaBoss Robert (3 years ago)
Really nice old fortress which I did not go inside. Very picturesque.
Ed Bintjes (3 years ago)
Nice trip and worth a visit. Great to see the history of this fortress and all the surroundings. Great view over the city from the terrace.
Des (5 years ago)
Great views of Niort. Good description of the history. Interesting.
Monica Brown (6 years ago)
Interesting castle, with good information. Unfortunately all the notes were only in French and although it had QR Codes to get the English descriptions, not all were working.
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