Château de Louveciennes

Louveciennes, France

Château de Louveciennes is composed of the château itself and the music pavilion. The pavilion sits in the middle of a park that was designed in the 19th century.

The château is an approximately cubic construction, of average size and modest appearance, which borders the chemin de la Machine (n° 6), a favourite subject of the Impressionists Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.

In 1684, Louis XIV ordered the construction of a château in the proximity of an aqueduct built to bring water drawn from the Seine by the Machine de Marly to the Château de Marly. The king gave the building to Baron Arnold de Ville, the engineer of Liège who had conceived the hydraulic installation. The building was later given to Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, the eldest legitimised daughter of Louis XIV and his mistress Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan.

At Louise's death in 1743, the château passed to her daughter, the Princesse de Conti, who introduced Madame de Pompadour to court. At some point, the building reverted to the crown.

In 1769, Louis XV offered the château to his new favourite, Madame du Barry. She probably called upon Ange-Jacques Gabriel, Premier Architecte du Roi, to enlarge and redecorate the building. Gabriel added the adjoining eastern wing, as well as the decoration of carved woodwork. Louis XV often visited the château that had become known as the Château de Madame du Barry. It is there that, 22 September 1793, Madame du Barry was arrested during the French Revolution.

In the 1980s, the château was acquired by a Japanese woman and her Marseillais-born French-American husband illegally using the name of her family's company Nippon Sangyo, as a commercial asset. The couple sold all the furniture and left the building abandoned. They were sued by the company later. Occupied by squatters, the château underwent various degradations. In 1994, an attempt to remove the joinery and a chimneypiece was thwarted by the police. The owner then put the property up for sale, and it was bought by a French investor who carefully restored it.

The château was disadvantaged by its lack of a view of the Seine. Moreover, Madame du Barry considered the reception areas to be inadequate. She thus decided to build, surveying the valley of the Seine, a small separate house that would include reception rooms, the famous Pavillon de Louveciennes.

Proposals were requested of Charles de Wailly and Claude Nicolas Ledoux. In spite of the negative opinions given by several of her circle, notably Gabriel, Mme du Barry decided to retain the project of Ledoux, then at the beginning of his career. The design was completed in 1770 and construction was carried out in 1771. The inauguration took place on 2 September 1771 in the presence of the King.

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Details

Founded: 1684
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Fabrice Bouniol (9 months ago)
Superb place, top equipment ^^
Renaud EB (2 years ago)
Beautiful training center and event location.
Kenny Seconde (3 years ago)
Magnifique !
Sébastien Gourdon (3 years ago)
Très beau, très bien entretenu. Des allures de château avec des jardins autour, un grand centre de restauration. Parfait pour organiser des séminaires. Plusieurs salles disponibles de tailles variables, et le service associé. Il est également facile d'y garer son véhicule, point non négligeable. A quelques minutes (10?) à pied de la gare de Louveciennes.
Kasia M (4 years ago)
A place to be!
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Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

The inner ward's curtain wall had a large horseshoe-shaped gateway. But only a thin wall was required along the promontory. This section of the wall has a small observation turret and a square stone platform. Domestic buildings including William Marshal's Great Hall and private apartments were within the inner ward. The 13th century keep is 23 metres tall with walls up to 6 metres thick at its base.

In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.