A little history of Château-Naillac
Brave knights coming!
Naillac? We know those brave knights coming from Limousin!
We already met them in Gargilesse, because they were lords of Gargilesse in the 12th c.
One century later, they became lords of Le Blanc!
A big castle was raised in this city in the 12th c. What was the specific feature of that medieval fortress?
It had 2 keeps, with several storeys! But the Naillac died out without a male heir in the 15th c. Ouch!
Then came 2 heirs: Pierre Frotier (also lord of Azay-le-Ferron) and marshal of Boussac, Jean de Brosse. In 1430, it was finally Frotier who get the castle back.
He and his family could now live there and refit out the castle at the end of the 15th c: construction of the courtyard, of a staircase tower on one of the keep, windows opening...
La Parabère, the Regent's joli gigot
Then, several owners succeeded in one another. Don’t worry, I won’t list them...
The most important thing was that in 1719, the owner, Mathieu Pinsonneau, sold the castle to a woman: Marie-Madeleine de La Vieuville, countess de Parabère...
The mistress of French regent Philippe d’Orléans!
When Louis XIV died, La Parabère was sent packing from the Court and moved in Le Blanc: here she made wonderful parties and had a nice life...
The Regent called her “his little black crow” and “his little leg” (petit gigot in French)!
She drank like a fish and ate like an ogress.
She was pretty but silly: her lovely friends in the Court nicknamed her Sainte n’y touche, “looking as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth”!
Well, parties were nice, but after that, she was ruined.
So she had to sell the castle in 1738 to Claude Dupin, who also owned castle of Chenonceau.
Extensions and abandon
In the 18th century, the two keeps were ruined: they started to raise the huge main building linking the two towers.
Claude Dupin restored the castle and then, it fell to his heirs in 1799.
One of them raised the iron gate at the entrance (coming from castle of Rochefort in Sauzelles, Indre) and annexed church of Saint-Cyran (11th c.).
After several owners, the castle was sold by auction in 1851: the city bought it and transformed it into a boy school.
The visit of the castle
The castle nowadays houses Brenne museum.
• We start with the nice collection of 800 stuffed birds coming from Brenne ponds, collected by naturalist Jean Génétoux in the 19th c. An incredible collection, very well-preserved animals!
• On the first floor, a ponds’ presentation: their creation, their geology...
• Then, evocation of people’s life in Brenne, in the past: a pretty poor area, which used to be shake by starvations and rebellions.
• A room with a 19th c. forge scale model: Brenne’s trees made lots of carbon, essential for the making of a good quality steel!
• A huge room where we learn more about the castle’s history. In 1992, when they were restoring the place, they found a nice Romanesque chimney framed by two beautiful windows. A pretty rare element from the first medieval castle!