This website requires JavaScript.

A little history of Maulnes castle

The castle | Patrick89 / CC-BY-SA
Castle Legend Antoine de Crussol Louise de Clermont-Tallard Louvois Maulnes castle

Crussol’s mystery

A mysterious castle, really? Sure, in Burgundy! Who raised this bold building, in 1566?

Antoine de Crussol, count then duke of Uzès, and his wife Louise de Clermont-Tallard, countess of Tonnerre!

10 years before, Antoine married Louise; she was 50. She was widow of François du Bellay, her first husband.

Antoine was 25 years younger! Louise was so pretty and witty!

As a former governess of king of France Charles IX, she became friend with queen Catherine of Medici, who called her ″her chatterbox″.

Catholic, Louise converted her Protestant husband… and she gave him plenty of lands in Burgundy, inherited from her mum.

They spent their time between Maulnes and Uzès (Southern France), where Antoine raised a nice palace.

And, next to Maulnes, Louise had her brother, Antoine de Clermont… who lived in his brand new castle: Ancy-le-Franc!

Renaissance in Burgundy

Italian fashion!

Castle of Maulnes was raised in 1566. 4 years later, the Crussol settled in.

At that time, it wasn’t a small and lonely building: it was part of giant buildings, including outhouses and ramparts! And who did this?

Err, we don’t know exactly. Like in Ancy-le-Franc, we murmur the name of Italian architects: Serlio? Peruzzi?

Or maybe a little French guy, famous Philibert de L’Orme? After all, he worked for Antoine de Crussol for his castle of Uzès!

Mélusine in the well

Anyway, the castle is pretty original: it’s a pentagon flanks by towers in corners.

An opened gallery on each side used to link the castle to a courtyard.

And in the middle, we have… a well. The legend says the famous fairy Mélusine lived here!

And thanks to this well, we had running water: we even found a steam-room!

But Antoine, although younger than Louise, passed away. This one kept Maulnes until her death in 1591.

From Louvois to today

The castle fell to Louvois’ widow at the end of the 17th c.: Anne de Souvré.

Louvois, you know, was Louis XIV’s famous minister. He settled a glassworks, here, raised to a Royal glassworks in 1776…

In 1834, the last marquis de Louvois sold the estate, who was abandoned and transformed into a farm.

In 1997, finally, the Conseil général de l'Yonne bought Maulnes and restored it...

The visit of Maulnes

The climax? The helical staircase!

If you bend, you’ll see the circular well!

Indeed, the castle was raised on a spring.

About the the author

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