Château d'Oiron

Plaine-et-Vallées, France

The Château d'Oiron has its origins in the 15th century war with the English for control of France when a victorious Charles VII of France gave the domain and great forest of Oiron to Guillaume Gouffier who became governor of Touraine.

Guillaume Gouffier built a magnificent château and his offspring updated and improved it. In 1538, his daughter-in-law, Helene de Hengest, was responsible for the construction of a collegiate church adjacent to the château. In 1551, Henry II and his entire court were guests of Claude Gouffier who had been granted the title Marquis de Caravaz. Claude Gouffier served as the model for Charles Perrault's 'Marquis de Carabas' in his story, Puss in Boots.

Two generations later, another Gouffier was exiled from the king's court by Cardinal Richelieu in 1620. In the mid 17th century, Charlotte Gouffier became enamored with the renowned intellect, Blaise Pascal (1623–62), who spent considerable time at the Château d'Oiron. After Pascal died, Charlotte Gouffier married Francois d'Aubusson, the duc de La Feuillade, who enhanced the castle with his wealth and connections to Louis XIV. With the renovations, the castle ended up with a main building and two long projecting wings, one of which is a Renaissance structure built over a cloister. One of the galleries contains one of the most prestigious works of art from the French Renaissance period.

The Duc de La Feuillade's son sold the château to Louis XIV's mistress, Madame de Montespan who lived there for the rest of her life. Her son had little interest in the property as he preferred to be much closer to the royal court so in 1736 he sold the château to the Duc de Villeroi. After that, the château went into severe decline and in 1793 was ransacked by Revolutionaries. For many years the château lay abandoned until the government of France took possession just before World War II eventually converting it to a museum.

Recognized worldwide, the museum is dedicated to contemporary art.

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Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Valois Dynasty and Hundred Year's War (France)

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

pathama petdes (3 months ago)
Mystery and big Chateau , worth it to visit and get away from other crowded châteaus.
jaqsbcn (8 months ago)
The main floor is full of contemporany art, also in the first floor, but there are still a few rooms with the original decoration.
Jonathan Knocker (8 months ago)
Bizarre and eerie! Beautiful external design but very scant and dilapidated inside. The gardens are a mess and if you don’t grasp the art exhibition’s inside, it offers nothing but a lot of questions about heritage preservation. A disappointment and a long way out of the central Chateau area.
Pandasenno (9 months ago)
The chateau was nice and worth the money, the art was amazing, it would make a amazing day trip, the scenery is just amazing.
Stephen Sanders (2 years ago)
This is simply the most bizarre museum I have ever been to, you absolutely must visit it. From outside it looks like a beautiful château but once you get inside, wow. Do not miss the chance to visit !!!
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