The current Château de la Ballue was built by Gilles de Ruellan in 1620 and renovated in 1705. In the 19th century there was a glass factory. The highlight of any stay at the castle will be tea and a guided tour of those magnificent gardens.

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Founded: 1620
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Timothy Duncan (9 months ago)
What a magical place! The beautiful Chateau and gorgeous gardens transport one to another time and place. Marie Francoise was a gracious and accommodating host. Planned as a one night stop from Normandy to Paris, we so regret not having made arrangements to stay and linger a while.
Dennis Corsten (11 months ago)
We didn't stay at the hotel but visited for it wonderful gardens, this place is a real gem. Very tranquil gardens beautifully kept by people who care. Nice selection of statues around the gardens and great little place to have a cup of tea in the gardens. -- Find my review helpful? Please click like /
Michael Simpson (13 months ago)
Wonderful Chateau and the last night of our honeymoon. Stunning gardens and a beautiful bedroom with far reaching views over the countryside....watching the sun set over incredible countryside. Very warm welcome from Marion and the owners. Nice tea house that was open when we arrived and the swimming pool was delightful. What a place to spend a honeymoon - and the weather was very kind. Thank you.
nazila merati (14 months ago)
This rating is for the gardens - they are fantastic. I would love to stay at the hotel. I believe they were not taking reservations the week we visited.
Russ Howell (14 months ago)
This is a lovely garden and we are so fond of it that we visit every year at May time when the wisteria is at its best.They also do good coffee and home made cake.
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Steinvikholm Castle is an island fortress built between 1525 to 1532 by Norway's last Catholic archbishop, Olav Engelbrektsson. Steinvikholm castle became the most powerful fortification by the time it was built, and it is the largest construction raised in the Norwegian Middle Ages.

The castle occupies about half of the land on the rocky island. The absence of a spring meant that fresh water had to be brought from the mainland. A wooden bridge served as the only way to the island other than boat. Although the castle design was common across Europe in 1525, its medieval design was becoming obsolete because of the improved siege firepower offered by gunpowder and cannons.

The castle was constructed after Olav Engelbrektsson returned from a meeting with the Pope in Rome, presumably in anticipation of impending military-religious conflict. As Archbishop Engelbrektsson's resistance to the encroachment of Danish rule escalated, first with Frederick I of Denmark and his successor Christian III of Denmark, Steinvikholm Castle and Nidarholm Abbey became the Catholic Church's military strongholds in Norway. In April 1537, the Danish-Norwegian Reformation succeeded in driving the archbishop from the castle into exile in Lier in the Netherlands (now in Belgium), where he died on 7 February 1538. At the castle the archbishop left behind St. Olav's shrine and other treasures from Nidaros Cathedral (Trondheim). The original coffin containing St. Olav's body remained at Steinvikholm until it was returned to Nidaros Cathedral in 1564. Since 1568 St. Olav's grave in Nidaros has been unknown.

From the 17th to 19th century, the island was used as a quarry and some of its masonry was sold and removed from the site. This activity was condoned by the Danish-Norwegian authorities as a way of eliminating a monument to the opposition of the Danish–Norwegian Union.

Steinvikholm fort is owned and operated today by The society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments. The island has been the site of the midnight opera which details the life and struggles of the archbishop. The opera is held in August annually. The opera is organized by Steinvikholm Musikkteater since the beginning in 1993.