A little history of Arcelot castle
The story or Arcelot began in the 17th century, when the land fell to Alphonse de Guéribout: Arcelot was raised to a marquisate in 1674… Then, Arcelot fell to the family de Verchère, in the beginning of the 18th century. A family of members of Parliament, well known in the area… Philibert Verchère, the man who bought the estate, re-raised a brand new castle next to the old primitive fortress.
Stucco and marbleized things
For want of money or time, we don’t know, the building work was never completed! The architect just raised the little detached houses framing the main building… This one was raised by Burgundian architect Thomas Dumorcey for Philibert’s grandson, in 1761. The building work ended in 1765: we have here a nice neoclassical castle, the first one ever raised of Burgundy! Verchère, of course, fitted out gorgeous interiors: stucco, marbleized decoration… a decoration made by Italian and German artists.
But the French Revolution turned up… The owner’s daughter, at that time, was Louise Archères d'Arcelot. She was 11 years old, in 1792. Her dad and her brother took to their heel, smelling the troubles coming… They ran away in Lyon: poor Louise was all alone in Arcelot! Alone with her maid, alone without her mum who died when she was a baby… So, she stayed here, in those silent rooms… She stayed 4 years! Once a week, she had to go to Dijon, to justify about her situation to the Revolutionary court, to prove she really lived in the castle. If not, Arcelot would be seize!
So, Arcelot wasn’t sold! In the beginning of the 19th century, the landscaper Jean-Marie Morel designed the big park and the pond. Do you know Morel? The architect of the king’s menus plaisirs (″the royal entertainment″, in French Court)! He landscaped Ermenonville and Malmaison gardens. Anyway, Arcelot stayed in the Verchère family… And in 1814, during France’s campaign, Austrian emperor Francis II and tzar Alexander I even spent a night in the castle...
The visit of Arcelot
Well worth seeing: the chapel and the living-room, who kept their original decoration made in 1765 by the German Reuscher. In the living-room: everything is marbleized… except the chimney! Outside: don’t miss the huge park (45 ha) and the 6 hectares pond, with in the middle, a little island flanks by a pagoda.