Château de Noirmoutier

Noirmoutier-en-l'Île, France

Château de Noirmoutier is very well preserved and a fine example of 12th century medieval architecture. The first traces of the castle appeared in 830 with the construction of a castrum by the abbot Hilbold, from the monastery of Saint-Philbert. It served to defend the monks and the island's population from the Vikings. The castle was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century by the feudal power who was trying to stabilise the region, notably by preventing Norman pillaging. The island at that time was under the control of the barons of La Garnache. The keep was built by Pierre IV of La Garnache, then an enclosure equipped with towers was built around the lower courtyard. In the 16th century, the castle was held by the La Trémoille family, then viscounts of Thouars.

The castle has resisted numerous attacks, like the English in 1342 and 1360, and again in 1386 under the command of the Earl of Arundelthe Spanish in 1524 and 1588. In 1674 it was taken by the Dutch troops of Admiral Tromp.

Château de Noirmoutier was sold in 1720 to Louis IV Henri de Bourbon-Condé who resold it in 1767 to Louis XV. During the French Revolution, the castle served as a military prison. During the 19th century, the castle was used as a barracks. In 1871, during the Paris Commune, insurgents were imprisoned there. In 1960, a house was built within the castle grounds by the governor of the island and the castle. Today, the keep houses the Noirmoutier Museum.

The keep at the centre of the castle is solid and rectangular. Built of rubble, it has three floors with the lords' residence at the top. The keep has numerous murder holes and defensive turrets at the corners. The rectangular fortification consists of two towers, a single gate and two watch turrets in the four corners. At the beginning of the 18th century, the towers were reconstructed and the keep adapted for artillery.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

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

Rating

3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Daniel Sirieix (8 months ago)
M m
Ferenc Borondics (9 months ago)
It is a nice place to visit. Kid friendly and takes about an hour to go around. There are interesting exhibits and of course the building itself is also worth seeing. From the top there is an excellent view of the island. The castle is close to the town center which allows shopping and dining very close by and in a short walk there is the port, which is also worth seeing.
Tomasz Polewczynski (12 months ago)
very nice ireland, harbor and town
Sibren Fetter (2 years ago)
Very nice castle. Woukd have been nice to have explanations in English though. Still worth the visit.
Ian Anderson (3 years ago)
Great views over the area. Best if you speak French to understand the displays in the castle.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Regensburg Sausage Kitchen

The Historic Sausage Kitchen of Regensburg (Wurstküche) is notable as perhaps the oldest continuously open public restaurant in the world. In 1135 a building was erected as the construction office for the Regensburg stone bridge. When the bridge was finished in 1146 AD, the building became a restaurant named Garkueche auf dem Kranchen ("cookshop near the crane") as it was situated near the then river port. Dockers, sailors and the staff of the nearby St. Peter cathedral workshop were the regulars for the centuries to come. The present building at this location dates from the 17th century, but archaeological evidence has confirmed the existence of a previous building from the 12th century with about the same dimensions.

Until ca. AD 1800, the specialty was boiled meat, but when the family who currently own the restaurant took over in 1806, charcoal grilled sausages were introduced as the main dish offered. The kitchen still operates today and serves 6,000 sausages to guests daily.