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A little history of Bouges castle

The castle | / CC-BY-NC-SA
Castle Bouges castle

Mentioned since 917 in a Déols abbey's text, Bouges was a dependency, in the 12th century, of castellany of Levroux, then fell to the Chauvigny family and by marriage to the La Tour d'Auvergne, Catherine of Medici's maternal family. This one gave it to her butler, Jean-Baptiste Segliso, in 1547.

In 1757, Charles Leblanc de Marnaval owned Bouges. He worked in the familial factory (Clavières' forges) in the region and also managed the royal factory of Châteauroux. He was rich! So Marnaval owned Bouges estate, 275 000 livres.

He razed the old castle in order to build a brand new neoclassical one, from 1763 to 1770. The tradition says it was famous architect Gabriel who raised Bouges: he was working on the Petit Trianon's building site, so Bouges was called "Petit Trianon of Berry"...

But Marnaval spent too much money... and was ruined! His creditors sold Bouges estate in 1781. Then the castle fell to marquis de Rochedragon, then to his heirs who sold it in 1818 to Talleyrand. Talleyrand get rid of Bouges 10 years later.

In 1917, Henri Viguier, who owned the Bazar de l'Hôtel-de-Ville store, bought Bouges, without any furniture: but Henri brought a rich collection of 18th century furniture. He also relaid out gardens with landscaper Duchêne.

Detached houses were erected by Henri Dauvergne. The Viguier couple, who were childless, bequeathed their castle to the French Nation... who opened it to the public!

About the the author

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