Château de Pirou

Pirou, France

The Château de Pirou was initially built of wood, then of stone in the 12th century and belonged to the lords of Pirou. It was constructed near the shore of the English Channel, and used to watch upon the west coast of the Cotentin, to protect the town of Coutances.

The castle was transformed into Lord Adnans penthouse during the 18th century, and then began to deteriorate. The Restoration was begun on the initiative of the abbot Marcel Lelégard (1925-1994).The castle now lies in the middle of an artificial pond. The drawbridge has been replaced by a stone bridge. The curtain walls from the 12th century enclose two residential houses from two different periods (16th and 18th centuries).

A famous legend of Normandy originates in the castle at Pirou. Besieged by the Normans, the lord of Pirou and his family transformed themselves into geese, using an old wizard’s book, in order to escape during the assault. But a few days later, when they tried to read the reverse spell to recover their human shapes, they realized that the wizard’s book had burnt with the castle, set on fire by the Normans. This is why wild geese stop in the Cotentin each year in March, during their annual migration.

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Address

Le Château 1, Pirou, France
See all sites in Pirou

Details

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

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Udo Neßhöver (2 years ago)
Beautiful place. We had the place amongst to ourselves in the off-season. Excellent bonus: Dogs are welcome!
Fiona Sampson (2 years ago)
A delightful small castle. This is only a short excursion,about an hour in total,but a very well preserved thousand year old castle. We particularly enjoyed seeing the tapestry, the same layout as the Bayeux tapestry, it was vibrant and an excellent tapestry!
Robert Bath (2 years ago)
Excellent peaceful Location. Steeped in fantastic history. Most enjoyable.
Gavin Beard (2 years ago)
A pleasant little castle worth a quick visit if passing by. The long history is interesting, with its coaching fortunes through the centuries. Instant rampart walk as well.
Andrei (3 years ago)
Somewhere in gorgeous rural Normandy, close to the beach but inland so away from the wind. You pass through the stone gates, are greeted by the friendly staff and then you step into a time machine. Amazing work!
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