The Château de Dampierre was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1675–1683 for the duc de Chevreuse in French Baroque style. Protected behind fine wrought iron double gates, the main block and its outbuildings, linked by balustrades, are ranged symmetrically around a dry paved and gravelled cour d'honneur (three-sided courtyard). Behind, the central axis is extended between the former parterres, now mown hay. The park with formally shaped water was laid out by André Le Nôtre. There are sumptuous interiors.

The grande galerie was reconstructed for the amateur archaeologist and collector, Honoré Théodore Paul Joseph d'Albert, duc de Luynes, under the direction of antiquarian architect Félix Duban. Sculptor Pierre-Charles Simart contributed Hellenic friezes and reliefs for the project. Ingres' Age of Gold remains as testament to the abortive project of decorating it in fresco, not Ingres' habitual medium.

The park, which lost many trees in the storm of 26 December 1999, offers a formal canal and an eighteenth-century garden folly.

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Founded: 1675-1683
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

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3.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

DAVID CORNET (4 months ago)
Vue de la demie-lune. Place du chateau. Ambiance feutrée sous la neige. Vivement la réouverture du parc le 30 mars 2019. Merci au propriétaire!
JPh CANU (7 months ago)
Un parc exceptionnel et inattendu puisque présent a l'arrière et sur le côté du château ! En revanche le château en lui-même aurait besoin d'une remise en état !
Michael 2040 jackson 60 years 2018 *yes come back! (7 months ago)
le château Dampierre ,un lieu magnifique. j'ai fais l'ouverture du restaurant du château ,et j'en suis fière.le service était au top ,la mise à table sans fauce note .le service était à la française authentique. mon intuition me dit que c'est Michael *Jackson qui à achète le château avec la bibliothèque historique
gildas berthelot (8 months ago)
Ce lieu magique de la Vallée de Chevreuse la visite en raison de son parc gigantesque (400 hectares ) dont les jeux de miroirs et les dessins de Le Nôtre sont la marque. Le dénuement de plantations nous laisse admirer les lignes des plans d'eau et les magnifiques arbres centenaires. Seul regret, la fermeture pour travaux d'un patrimoine en perdition que le nouveau propriétaire vient de lancer
Yannick L'Brode (8 months ago)
Jolie ballade autour de la pièce d eau.
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Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.