Château de Courances

Courances, France

The Château de Courances was built around 1630. In 1552, Côme Clausse, a notary and royal secretary to the King, acquired the former seigneurial dwelling at Courances, at the western edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau. His heir conveyed it in 1622 to Claude Gallard, another royal secretary, who is doubtless the builder of the present château, of an H-plan laid out on a rectangular platform that is surrounded by moat. The original château is known from the engravings of Israël Henriet and Israël Silvestre, about 1650.

In the 18th century the house was modernized by Anne-Catherine Gallard, widow of Nicolas Potier de Novion, who demolished the wall and entryway that had enclosed the courtyard. Later her granddaughter Léontine-Philippine de Novion and her husband Aymar de Nicolay further modernized the château (1775–1777) by opening new bays and applying a large pedimented center to each façade.

In 1830, the Nicolay heirs conveyed away the château, which was bought in 1872 by baron Samuel de Haber. Architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur restored the château in a Louis XIII style between 1873 to 1884. Destailleur retrieved the brickwork from beneath a layer of stucco, raised the rooflines of the pavilions and supplied zinc ornaments for the roofs. The grand internal staircase was demolished and monumental ramps of Fontainebleau inspiration were applied to the façades. A new wing with broken roofline was erected over the former kitchens to shelter the master suites, and was linked to the old wing by a gallery.

New outbuildings constructed at the same time were destroyed by fire in 1976. In the First World War, Courrances served as a hospital. In the Second World War, it was first occupied by the Germans, then by Field Marshal Montgomery, from 1947 to 1954.

Château de Courances has also an exceptional park, acclaimed as 'the epitome of the French formal garden style in which château and environment form a whole'.



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Founded: 1630
Category: Castles and fortifications in France


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Adriana García (16 months ago)
Gorgeous place, you can spend hours walking through the gardens and discover amazing hidden corners. Loved the tea room as well. The castle gardens are dog friendly.
minus man (19 months ago)
Wonderfull place, the japanese garden and path around the park really worth it. Take time to feel the spirit of the place. have a break ( french "tarte tatin" just "la crème dela crème")
katja (3 years ago)
Simple but beautiful gardens. No crowds. Nice restaurant inside the woods with a Japanese garden in front.
Kristina Wilde (4 years ago)
Make sure you check when they do guided tour visits inside the Château! My boyfriend and I went here and just to explore the beautiful gardens took 2 hours. It was truly incredible! The cakes were homemade and delicious! Because it was the end of the day the homemade desserts were 50% off!!
Dilyara Timerbulatova (4 years ago)
I am so happy we stopped at this place and had a long walk in this garden. It was raining so we got to sit in the tea room and enjoy the view with a steaming pot of tea. There is a wifi in the tea room, the garden itself is gorgeous, people speak English and you can walk there after the closing hours (make sure to buy the ticket in the ticket office before 6 pm). I haven’t seen Château but there was a very small tourist group in front of it so I bet it’s enjoyable and not as stressful as other museums.
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