French Castles: Chateau d’Argy
Visiting The Château d'Argy
Last Saturday we were wondering what to do when I saw a little advert for a mediaeval fair at the Chateau d'Argy. We had never been there, so we decided to go and have a look. Mediaeval fairs around here are generally very entertaining and at the same time educational, not to mention gastronomic discoveries! Unfortunately, we arrived at midday -sacred lunchtime for the French- which meant that the Chateau was closed until 2:30pm.
We had a look a look around the small town of Argy, but as everything was closed for lunch we went to the next biggest town in the map, Buzançais. There too, everything was closed except an all day cheap supermarket where we bought some sandwiches and went to the river side for a picnic!
At 2:30 back in the Chateau we discovered that there was an error on dates and the mediaeval festival had been the previous week... Still, we were there so we went in to see the Castle. For 5 euros each, we took a guided tour along with other tourists.
Like always our little princess was delighted at discovering a new castle. Our little hooligan, on the other hand, was just wanting to chase the deer and peacocks, trying to jump in the watermill or just being a hooligan!
Chateau d’Argy Renacentist Gallery.
In the Indre department -3 hours drive from Paris- in Central France, the Chateau d'Argy was a military castle, a fortress during the mediaeval ages. The newest part of the castle however, dates back to the 19th century.
The castle is surrounded by 40 hectares of forest where wildlife runs free. If you are lucky you will spot the peacocks, deer, or even a wild pig.
The castle was bought in 1966 by the Club du Vieux Manoir who started restoration works. It took them more than ten years to bring the Castle back to its magnificence.
There is a monumental body of farms occupying more than 120m long. They were built during the XVII century. The farms are divided in different spaces each one for a specific use. The outside of the farms are part of a semi fortified building, where even now we can still see the holes in the walls for the guns against the enemy.
In one of the restored farms, The Colombarium, you can find some National archives from 1862 also saved by the Club du Vieux Manoir. There is also another farm which has been made into a museum housing Arts and traditions from the countryside in the 19th century
Castle of Argy, France
Chateau d'Argy, The Walls Are Decorated With The Initials Interlaced Of The Family Members,
The castle dates back to the 11th century. But most of its registered history goes back only to the 15th and 16th century when the castle was made bigger by orders of Lord Charles de Brillac.
Brillac introduced in the castle a heavy Italian influence, which he brought back from his travels to Italy. From this period is the arcaded gallery in Louis XII style. There we can see a tower and two galleries in which converge a polygonal tower with stairs for access to the higher floors. This gallery is a truly work of craftsmanship, exceptional for its time due to the luxurious decorations and its structure divided in two floors. The walls are decorated with the initials interlaced of the family members, as well as with emblematic symbols of the time.
The Donjon, Chateau D'Argy
With a square base it is the tallest building in the castle. 34 metres tall, it houses four levels of stairs. It is through the donjon that we access the second floor and the now called "Pirates room": An exquisite bedroom with treasures from all over the world. There is a giant turtle on the wall, Indian busts, Viking headdresses, and other odd treasures from the five continents.
At the start of the 19th century, the castle changed hands to the De Lamotte family who used the castle as a residence. After that, the castle changed hands several times until it was abandoned during the Second World War.
The Donjon, Chateau D'Argy
For Easter this castle -as well as others in the area- organize an Easter egg hunt for the children.
There is also a mediaeval festival, this year held the 1st and 2nd of May.
The Castle is engaged with Renewable Energies. For this purpose, the association in charge of the Chateau is restoring a watermill and working on installing a source of electricity.
The castle also serves as a venue for cultural and artistic events. It is also possible to rent part of it for private parties.
Chateau D'Argy, You Could Even Get Married Here
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