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 The drawbridge has been replaced by a stone bridge.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

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Louise Toulorge (2 years ago)
Incredibly atmospheric. Wonderful architecture. A small gem. Must be seen.
David FOX (3 years ago)
Lovely old fortified chateau which has been partially restored but mind your head.
P P (3 years ago)
Pretty chateau well worth a visit, we spent about 1.5hrs there on a rainy morning exploring the castle, we did the battlements walk twice as the kids loved the tricky spiral staircases and being up on top of the castle. The staff were welcoming and gave us an information sheet in English explaining the history of the castle. The facilities are quite basic, no cafe but a little gift shop, not great if you have any mobility problems.
Geraldine Ling (3 years ago)
Lovely place. The tapestry (embroidery) is fantastic.
Badeshi (3 years ago)
Good castle with range of rooms and battlements to explore. Would benefit from more refreshments but toilets are good.
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