A must visit – Château de la Rochefoucauld
Getting the chance to spend your holidays in France is truly a dream come true. It is one of the most picturesque places on earth, a vast source of inspiration for many of its world famous poets, musicians, and painters.
The beauty of France is not only echoed by the Eiffel Towel or the Louvre museum. If you will just allow yourself to cast your eyes beyond the bright lights of the city of Paris, you will realize that there are a great number of interesting architectural structures dotting the French countryside.
Your visit to Château L’Age Baston would not be complete without a closer inspection of the magnificent castles that survived the colourful history of France. Some of them even bore witness to the turbulent events of the Hundred Years War between France and England. You get a good feel for what it must have been like during those times.
A castle that is still standing proudly up to this date and telling a fascinating story to those who wishes to listen is Château de la Rochefoucauld. It is located at a bustling riverside market town also called La Rochefoucauld.
Brief History of Château de La Rochefoucauld
The history of this fascinating castle is closely intertwined with the triumphs and struggles of the ‘La Rochefoucauld’ family. Each modification on this building in the past is a blatant showcase of the power of the family, both social and political.
The castles humble beginning dates back to year 980, from a wooden camp that was built by Foucauld on a rocky spur. The word ‘rock’, in fact, translates to ‘Roche’ in French. A square keep was then constructed by his son at the same site in 11th century.
To celebrate the end of the Hundred Years’ War in 1453 and to demonstrate his political power as the Lord of the region, Jean de La Rochefoucauld built three additional towers to the structure and raised the level of the main tower of the castle, thus, enabling him to oversee his domain at greater heights.
François de La Rochefoucauld and his wife, Anne de Polignac, started transforming the South Wing in 1519 to aptly incorporate the Renaissance style of that period to the structure. Armed with the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci, they have successfully built a breathtaking, circular staircase that connects to the different towers. It is also around this time that the open galleries on three levels were added.
The last major modification to the overall structure of the castle was done in 1760 with the construction of the West Wing.
Present Times in Château de la Rochefoucauld
The castle is still under the ownership of the ‘La Rochefoucauld’ family.
It is open to the public for guided tours and rented out for special occasions. During the guided tour of the castle, you are given access to around twenty furnished rooms, including the library and the Treasure Room. A massive collection of storytelling letters dating back to 17th century are what you can see in the Treasure Room and not some expensive jewelleries or artefacts.
Some of the areas that you can take a peek at without a guide are the original kitchen of the castle, guard rooms, and the dungeon. It is just normal to bump into one of the castle staff, who is dressed in period clothing, during your visit, so get ready with your camera. If you wish to be a lady or lord for the day and take a memorable snapshot of yourself, head over to one of the room upstairs and grab a medieval costume to your liking.
After a hectic day of touring, you can rest in solitude in the well manicured gardens around the castle. An excellent accommodation is also offered in the West Wing Tower if you are more inclined to spend the night surrounded by period furniture and exquisite art collections.
You can visit the castle from 10 am to 7 pm, between April 1 and January 2. It is open every day except on Tuesdays.
The admission fee for adults is € 10 and € 5 for children under 12.
During the winter season, this impressive site is only open every Sunday afternoon.
For additional questions regarding Château de la Rochefoucauld, please visit the website, www.chateau-la-rochefoucauld.com or call the office number, 05 45 62 07 42.