Pays de la Loire Section

Chateau de Montsoreau and A. Dumas' novel

[wce_code id=1]

Chateau de Montsoreau - the setting of a novel by A. Dumas

The Chateau de Montsoreau caught public attention in 1846, after the publication of the novel La Dame de Montsoreau, by Alexandre Dumas.

The heroine was Françoise de Maridor, Countess of Montsoreau.

Her jealous husband eventually discovered she was having an affair with Louis de Clermont d'Amboise.

He forced his wife to meet Louis de Clermont d'Amboise in the  Château de la Coutancière, where he had him assassinated!

After this tragic event, Françoise de Maridor returned to Montsoreau, where she happily spent the rest of her life with her husband...

A fortress at the confluence of the Vienne and Loire rivers

The Count of Anjou Fulk Nerra built the original Castrum Monte Sorello in the 11th century in the bed of the Loire, at its confluence with the Vienne.

It was then a strategic and military point, but also a toll point on the Loire!

Gautier de Montsoreau acquired the fortress.

Montsoreau changed hands several times until the marriage of Jeanne Chabot with Charles Chambes.

In 1450, the adviser to King Charles VII indeed buit a French Renaissance castle on the foundation of the fortress.

The new mansion boasts a superb facade with large mullioned windows, while the interior was embellished with 25 superb fireplaces, a vaulted  hall and a tower-staircase to name a few.

Chambes and his descendants accommodated several kings and queens in the Chateau de Montsoreau.

Louis XI indeed sojourned there in 1471, Anne de Bretagne and his daughter Claude de France in 1505 and Francois I in 1508!

The Chateau de Montsoreau remained the property of the influential Chambes family until the early 16th century.

René de Chambes was indeed sentenced for tax evasion and exiled in England for the rest of his life!

As a result, the castle began to slowly fall into ruins.


Rehabilitation of the Chateau de Montsoreau

It was sold after the French Revolution.

Severely damaged by 19 successive careless owners, it was eventually transformed into an ammunition depot and divided in individual lodgings!

By the mid-19th century it was in a pitiful state of disrepair!

Its spectacular ruins, however, were a fantastic subject for the great painters of the time such as Turner and Rodin.

Fortunately, Montsoreau was listed Historical Monument in 1862.

Finally, the department of Maine-et-Loire purchased it in 1910 and began a long rehabilitation program that spread from 1923 to 1997.

The Chateau de Montsoreau was open to the public in July 2001.

It was transformed into a museum of contemporary art in April 2016.

Its terraces, which peak some 30m above ground level, boast prime views of the confluence of the Vienne and Loire rivers.

They also overlook the village of Montsoreau, which is ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages of France.

Department of Maine-et-Loire
Coordinates: Lat 47.215685 - Long 0.062549

Photos via Wikimedia Commons: header CC BY 2.0Renaissance facade  CC BY-SA 3.0 - Fortress commanding the Loire  Public domain
Renaissance facade

Your Comments
Apremont castle and park

November 30 2019

Apremont castle, Vendée’s first Renaissance Chateau

The castle of Apremont, today mainly in ruins, was built by a childhood friend of Francois I and was thus the first Renaissance castle of Vendée
Poitevin Marsh waterway

May 30 2018

Poitevin Marsh, the Green Venice

Poitevin Marsh, the second largest wetland in France, is known as Green Venice, a lush green marsh you discover by punts that gently glide on man-made waterways nestled under the tree canopies
Chateau de Commequiers

August 28 2017

Chateau de Commequiers, demolished by order of King Louis XIII

Chateau de Commequiers, the fortress of the Protestant lords of La Tremoille was demolished by king Louis XIII at the end of the Wars of Religion
Moulin de Raire

August 17 2017

Moulin de Rairé, a windmill in constant use since 1555

Moulin de Raire in Sallertaine, a windmill that has constantly turned and been exclusively powered by the force of the wind since its construction in 1555
Translate »
Scroll to Top