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A little history of Billy castle

The castle | Mboesch / CC-BY-SA
Castle Billy castle

We are now on the right bank of river Allier. The fortress occupies this strategic site since a very long time, at the intersection on roads linking up Clermont-Ferrand to Autun and Lyon to Bourges.

Our castle has an oval shape, flanked by cylindrical towers with a tall keep.

Billy was Bourbon's lords enclave in the 13th century. In 1358, Isabel of Valois, widow of duke Pierre I of Bourbon, gave the estate to her son Louis II: he gave to his mother Murat castle. Louis immediately restored Billy.

He transformed the entrance small castle, he added a covered way on it with machicolations, he also raised the very high hexagonal tower next to the keep. In 1527, the castle was annexed by France crown.

In the 18th century, Billy belonged to the Montmorency, who sold it in 1772 to the count d'Afeuilles. Then, the city owned the castle in 1963 in order to open it to the public.

By the way, we found a 1569 description of Billy, by a man called Nicolas de Nicolaÿ: "... at the top of the hill, this is a big and strong castle, with moats, surrounding walls and 10 towers. Inside, in the middle of the farmyard, there is a big keep where the princes lived..." Anyway, Billy, at that time, was already ruined...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!