French Castles: Chateau de Bonnu

Château de Bonnu, A Moated Castle

Bonnu, A Moated castle
Bonnu, A Moated castle

Bonnu's Castle

France is filled with little archaeological jewels. Everywhere you go you will find castles from different ages, roman ruins and stunning churches. The Chateau de Bonnu is a small jewel in the middle of a typical village called Bonnu.

Although privately owned, the chateau de Bonnu is one of the main attractions in the little town of Bonnu. The other archeological attraction in Bonnu is the Church of Saint Luc founded in 1632 following an epidemic. Nowadays, every year on the Sunday following the 18th of October there is a parents and children pilgrimage to the church to ask Saint Luc to protect the children and keep them from sickness and fear.


The Château de Bonnu


The first time I found the Chateau de Bonnu, back in 2005, it was by pure accident.  We were on a family outing looking for the Bonnu beach –on the Eguzon lake- when we passed by this French jewel. 

As we stopped the car to wander around, we were lucky enough to find the new proprietor of the castle, Mr Richard Laurent Chappaz.  Mr. Laurent was very friendly and welcoming, and despite my basic French at the time, he was patient enough to show us around the castle and explain to us that he had just bought (in 2003) the Bonnu castle and was planning to restore it.  He was absolutely passionate about his newly acquired castle.  Mr.  Laurent is a man who loves history and bringing a castle back to its former glory is a delight for him. 

Five years after our first encounter, Mr. Laurent continues his restoration work on the Bonnu castle.  The outside looks stunning with greenery and flowers embellishing the building and ducks and swans wandering around.  The interiors have also changed, although keeping the basic architectural shape; the castle has gained in comfort.  Underfloor heating has been installed and five bathrooms have been created with stone carved sinks and taps carved and sculpted by local artisan Didiet Fauguet.  Mr. Laurent has also become a member of the Bonnu community and actively participates in the social life of the village.  During the annual Witchcraft Festival he lets the villagers use his premises for different activities.  Usually he allows theatrical plays in his barns and musical bands on his grounds.  The fireworks at the end of the festivities are also set on his grounds and a mock witch is burned after a procession on one of the castle towers.  

The village of Bonnu

A markerbonnu 36 -
Bonnu, 36190 Cuzion, France
[get directions]

The Village of Bonnu in the Indre Department, Centre region of France.

How to get to Bonnu?


Bonnu is located about 315 km South from Paris. 

If you are coming by train, Bonnu is18km from Argenton Sur Creuse where you can find the nearest train station with trains going to Paris and Limoges.

If you are coming by plane, the nearest airport is LimogesAirport, 80 km. down the A20. 

By road you will need to set your TOM TOM looking for Bonnu, 36290 Cuzion.  The village is so small that once there you will have no problem finding the Chateau.

Château de Bonnu

Chateau de Bonnu
Chateau de Bonnu | Source
Historical Monument
Historical Monument
Moated Castle
Moated Castle
Source
The Bonnu lake beach, just a short walk away from the Chteau de Bonnu.
The Bonnu lake beach, just a short walk away from the Chteau de Bonnu. | Source

Chateau de Bonnu: A bit of History


It is believed that the Chateau de Bonnu was used as a signal tower between the Crozant, Chateaubrun and Eguzon Fortresses, when it was first built.  Unfortunately for historians, there is no evidence of who the first owners were back in the 14th Century when the castle was built.  It is known that during the 17th Century the castle went under serious modification.  The stone bridge at the entrance dates from that period. 

During the 18th and 19th century, amazing as it might sound; the castle was abandoned and used as agricultural property. 

In 1906 the Bonnu castle was bought by Henry Sérullaz who started renovation work on the property.  The family heir, Maurice Sérullaz, curator at the Louvre museum, continued his father’s work of renovation on the castle. Finally after 6 years for sale, the Bonnu castle was bought by the current owner Richard Laurent Chappaz.

If you are planning to visit the property I must warn you that the Chateau the Bonnu is only available to be visited from the exterior.  For any interior visits you will need to contact the owner.   Otherwise the best time to visit is during the local annual festivities in October when the castle becomes a living building for the village’s Witchcraft Festival. 

Chateau de Bonnu

A markerrue du chateau, bonnu 36290 -
Rue du Château, 36190 Cuzion, France
[get directions]

If you follow the rue de la Plage, you will end up at the Bonnu Beach, a perfect place for a picnic!

Bonnu Witchcraft Festival 2008

Bonnu Witchcraft Festival
Bonnu Witchcraft Festival

More castles in the area:

show route and directions
A markerChateau de Valencay -
Parc & Château de Valençay, 36000 Valençay, France
[get directions]

B markerChateau de Bouges -
36110 Château de Bouges, France
[get directions]

C markerChateau de Chabenet -
Rue Principale, 36800 Le Pont-Chrétien-Chabenet, France
[get directions]

D markerChâteau d'Argy -
36500 Argy, France
[get directions]

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Comments 10 comments

Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

What a great hub. I am such a suker for castles, and when you get some of the history with it, it's like Christmas morning.

Great pictures too


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Duchess OBlunt: I know what you mean... I cannot leave castles alone, even when they say "private property" I cannot keep away!


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

What a cool place! I really love the photos. I would love to wander about the place for an afternoon- just wondering what it was like when it was first built... siiiigh


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

ecoggins: it is a fascinating place, especially once you consider the history behind it and how it evolved through the centuries.

Simone: The Bonnu castle really comes to life during the witchcraft festival when the witches are walking around carrying their potions, and the night procession brings a witch to the castle for judgement and then she is taken to one of the towers where she is burned in front of the village...


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

I really enjoyed this hub. We have many beautiful castles her in Wales as well and I love exploring them. The photos also bought this hub to life and thank you so much for sharing Princessa!I will be bookmarking this hub and voting it up. Take care


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Eiddwen: I still need to visit the castles in Wales, I have heard a lot about them but never had the opportunity to visit yet. I really have Welsh Catles in my list of places to see.

Thanks for the voting up.

Have a nice day.


Youngcurves19 profile image

Youngcurves19 6 years ago from Hawaii

fascinating! and great pics! ty


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

Youngcurves19: it is really exiting to go around in France and find jewels like this, without even looking for them! We are very lucky around here to have all these lovely places.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia

Wonderful and precious places Princessa, thank you for sharing with us:)


Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France Author

febriedethan: Thank you for the visit.

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