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

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michał Czaplicki (15 months 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 (2 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.
Francois Le Barbenchon (2 years ago)
Great place to visit to see how people lived throughout the ages. A reception room untouched for 400 years, still lived in today
Christine Hoffstaetter (2 years ago)
Some gateau at the chateau ... beautiful place owned by Forbes family and luckily they keep it open for wonderful tours... a definite must see. Informative guides who are kind and friendly and have the option to do in English. The cafe and grounds are a must to explore. You are not allowed to take pics inside because they want to keep it private, which is understandable.
David Oldham (2 years ago)
Wonderful. The French residence of Malcolm Forbes. Amazing house excellent guides. The gardens aren't bad either. Great history. The balloon museum is great too.
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The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III 'the Noble' until its conquest by Castile (1512). The fortification is both castle and palace, although it was built more like a courtier building to fulfill a military function.

On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.

Then the palace was housing the Navarrese court from the 14th until 16th centuries, Since the annexation (integration) of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile in 1512 began the decline of the castle and therefore its practically neglect and deterioration. At that time it was an official residence for the Viceroys of Navarre.

In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.