Château de Domfront

Domfront, France

Château de Domfront is a ruined castle dating from the 11th century. In 1049, the castle, belonging to Guillaume II Talvas, lord of Bellême, was besieged by William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy. In 1092, the people of Domfront revolted against Robert II de Bellême, Earl of Shrewsbury, transferring their allegiance to the third son of William the Conqueror, Henri Beauclerc, who became duke of Normandy (1106) and King of England (1100).

In 1169, it was at Château de Domfront where Henry II of England received the papal legates who came to reconcile him with Thomas Becket. After being a royal domain, in 1259 Louis IX of France gave Domfront to Robert II, Count of Artois, as dowry for his wife. After his death (1302), in compensation for not getting Artois, in 1332 his grandson Robert III of Artois was given the Norman property and appanages that had been confiscated.

In 1342, Philip VI of France ceded the Domfront country to the Count of Alençon who, in 1367, reunited Domfront and Alençon. In the meantime, in 1356, troops of Charles II of Navarre (Charles the Bad), king of Navarre, commanded by Sir Robert Knolles, took the place and held it until 1366. During the winter of 1417-1418, the castle was besieged by the English commanded by the Duke of Clarence and fell on the 10 July 1418. The French recaptured it for a time in 1430. It was finally taken by the French on 2 August 1450.

Ownership was again disputed in 1466-1467. In 1574, the Château de Domfront, serving as a refuge for the Count of Montgomery, was besieged by royal troops under Marshal Matignon, capitulating on 27 May. The count was beheaded in Paris in 1574 on the orders of the Queen.Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully ordered the demolition of the castle in 1608.

The ruins include the keep, the enceinte, ramparts, towers, casemates and the former Sainte-Catherine et Saint-Symphorien chapels. The castle ruins have been repaired since 1984 by the Association pour la Restauration du Château de Domfront. The ruins stand in a public park and are open to the public free of charge.

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Address

Le Château, Domfront, France
See all sites in Domfront

Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Ruins in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

sarah blake (2 years ago)
Really enjoyable visit. Pleasant garden and walk.
Pedro Martin (2 years ago)
Could have more things to read about the place, but great views on the valley and the dungeon
Charlotte Tyson (2 years ago)
Lovely place. We visit it often when we in the area. Streets with old shops line the way to the Chateau. I guess in the UK we would call it the ruins of a castle rather than a Chateau. Great views from the top.
Rusty Griffith (2 years ago)
Wonderful historic church. Be sure to visit the Tourism Bureau to get the history of the church. We were able to climb to the very top where we could see all the beautiful countryside. Worth the visit, but understand that the interior is currently under restoration efforts.
Ulric Schwela (2 years ago)
Impressive ruins of a dismantled castle, with enormous blocks of the massive keep (donjon) lying scattered in the grass, as if a giant gave the castle a great smack, or a dragon went on the rampage and tore it apart. Very accessible ruins, with a long underground corridor connecting the bases of several towers. Must be a haunting heap on a misty autumn morning.
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