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.

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Details

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

Rating

4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Zilvinas p (10 months ago)
Nice place to see. Increadable surroundings. Nice roat to place. Must come. :)
Maressa Mortimer (2 years ago)
Interesting building in a lovely place. Not very big and mainly comic strip exhibition, but great views of the area.
Ricarda Grabowski (2 years ago)
Wonderful - very informative. Description in English as well. Proud show of Vendée's history.
Daniel Sirieix (4 years ago)
M m
Ferenc Borondics (4 years 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.
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