A little history of Les Bruneaux castle

The castleThe castle | ©Daniel Villafruela / CC-BY-SA

The first lords were the Berchoux in the 13th century, with Jean de Berchoux, lord of Bruneaux. But the construction of a little fortress dates back to the 15th century. At the end of the 16th century, the castle fell to the Ensemet: when the last member of the family died out, the estate fell by marriage to Jean-Baptiste Michel de Charpin, lord of Feugerolles, in 1753.

This chap left his fief of Feugerolles and moved in the Bruneaux! Oh, this sir had just inherited from his uncle. He transformed the old and austere castle into a nice and brand new residence... Architect Jean Le Vacher was put in charge of the building site, between 1777 and 1784.

The current castle was born! They kept the foundations of the old fortress, and raised instead a nice main building flanked by 2 lateral wings.

But Louis-Alexandre de Charpin was arrested during the Revolution: his castle was preserved... In 1896, the Charpin came back in their castle of Feugerolles, so they sold the Bruneaux to the Chapelon.

In 1967, whoa, amazement! The family was expropriated. The village wanted to raze the castle in order to raise modern houses... made by famous architect Le Corbusier! This one already raised the church in Firminy... But people organized a petition, because they wanted to save the castle.

Finally, 2 years later, they came to an arrangement: the Historic Society of Firminy would restore the castle, in order to transform it into a heritage centre.