Château de Balleroy

Balleroy, France

Built in 1631 by the celebrated architect François Mansart (1598-1666) at the request of Jean de Choisy, the Château de Balleroy and its surrounding buildings are one of the first urban plans that inspired other chateaux, including Versailles. All the buildings were built from scratch. The chateau itself has retained almost all of its original features and it is because of this that it witnessed the major innovations of the 17th Century.

In 1970, Malcolm S. Forbes, owner of a major U.S. newspaper group acquired the chateau which was then fully restored and refurbished. Today, his four sons and his daughter continue his work.



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Founded: 1631
Category: Castles and fortifications in France


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

nofacefashion (7 months ago)
Splendid one. I’d say it’s a must since you learn a lot from the guided tour. No pictures inside as it is privately held. Enjoy a tea in the garden afterwards:)
Susan Stone (8 months ago)
A stunning chateau worthy of a visit. Staff (only 2 young adults very polite) did their best to welcome and provide service by way of covering reception,tea room and tour guide. Downside tour was all in french, no audio for English only a phamplet which fell far short of the tour guides speech, rendering the tour a tad boring and making us feel very much left out. Also for such a grand building only ~7 rooms covered, wanted to see more and see how both servants and their masters lived. Restored and unrestored. So much to this beautiful lady and I feel we missed so much ?❤
Dave Pearson (8 months ago)
Lovely Chateau which has never been damaged by a war. Well worth a visit with a guided tour of the interior. This Chateau used to belong to Malcolm Forbes and also has a hot air balloon museum. Prince Charles also has been one of the many guest’s who have stayed here. There is a nice souvenir shop albeit they don’t have Stickers. There is a café offering very reasonable refreshments and very clean toilets too. Parking can be tight but if you don’t mind walking there’s enough parking in the town.
Michał Czaplicki (3 years ago)
A magnificent hidden gem. Very few tourists, great architecture, splendid views. One of the few chateaux that survived both the French Revolution and the second world war pretty intact. It's contemporary history is also very unique.
John Heath (4 years ago)
As we were driving around the country side of France we came across this lovely village. The name of the village was Balleroy which is a beautiful village with this beautiful castle. It's an amazing castle and well worth visiting. This place was built in the 17th century and was owned by the Balleroy family. It was purchased by the Forbes family in 1970 and is still owned by them today. You can visit most of the rooms on the first floor but just a few on the second floor as the Forbes family when visiting France still use some parts of this castle. The parking is free and I think it was 9 euros per adult. There is a lovely little cafe where you can get a drink and a cake. You are shown round the castle itself by a guide, but you are allowed to wander round the gardens and grounds by yourself. There is a dry moat which gives the illusion of a castle with a moat. There is a massive dove coat which you can wander in which you will find fascinating. Do go if you are wandering around the French countryside just like we did.
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The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.

The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.

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The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.

The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.