The current Château de Bourron dates back to the 16th century, however the castle on the site was mentioned first time in 1367. From 1145 to about 1465, the estate belonged to Denis de Chailly, from the great family of the Viscount of Melun, the most important of all the commanders from the Brie. During this time she joined Joan of Arc to re-conquer France from the British. It then belonged to Charles de Melun, who was unable to enjoy it due to his beheading in 1368 by order from Louis XI for helping a State prisoner to escape.
In 1502, Olivier de Sallard became the sole owner of Bourron. With a family native of Brabant and specialized in falcon taming for the Dukes of Bourgogne, Olivier Salaert de Doncker was a contemporary of Louis XI, King of France. Soon after this, Louis XI hired Olivier de Sallard as a falconer and he rapidly strengthened his position as Great Falconer of France. What’s more, Charles 8th granted him with his naturalisation letters, thus enabling him to be the owner of and to have found a line in Bourron for two and a half centuries.
Fifty years after the purchase of Bourron, the Sallard family had significant financial problems, as two of their children, Jehan and François, were co-lords of Bourron. By 1562, they were unmarried and they even made a settlement inter vivos for their possessions.
His brother, François, married Diane Clausse, daughter of Henri the 2nd‘s Finances State secretary, between 1562 and 1574, which brought him a comfortable dowry and enabled him to purchase large areas of land to build up the domain of Bourron and, most probably, to replace the old medieval fortress by the current castle in the late 16th century.
During the 17th century, it appears that life was quite peaceful in the new castle of Bourron, the Sallard family often staying there, whilst the father and the elder son were fighting as officers in one of the King’s French Guards regiment.
In October 1725, the castle of Bourron was chosen to host the dethroned King of Poland, Stanislas Leczinski.
During the French Revolution, in 1794, the ‘sans culottes’ from Nemours came, plundered the castle and destroyed the symbols of the abolished feudal system; the entrance gate with seigneurial arms, the pigeon house with square foundation and the ditches by trying to fill them in. They brought the Marquess of Bourron, then a widow in Paris, who only owed her life to Robespierre’s fall a few months later. The local villager kept her youngest daughter, Adélaïde-Luce, in custody, which was a way to protect her as well as the estate.
The castle had a few more ups and downs, because of Mme de Varenne-Bourron’s son who had already been imprisoned at 18 years of age for debts, stuck to his way of life and thus, in 1806, had to sell the estate to his main creditor, who broke it up and quickly sold the castle and the grounds to Adélaïde-Luce and her husband, the Marquis of Montgon. The Montgons kept trying to build up the old domain again, parcel after parcel, and their successors also carried on with this.
As a result of legacies, the castle of Bourron was put up for sale a further three times by the Montgons in 1849, then the Brandoix in 1862 and lastly the Piollencs in 1878. In 1878, the domain was purchased by the Montesquiou-Fezensac family, who still live there today.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.