This website requires JavaScript.

A little history of Montmirail castle

The castle | Garitan / CC-BY-SA
Castle Cardinal de Retz Montmirail castle

Jean-François-Paul de Gondi was born here in 1613. Gondi, the future cardinal de Retz! His father received in the castle the famous brother saint Vincent de Paul (he was his protector).

But before him, we found constable of France Jean de Montmirail, king Philip Augustus' comrade in arms during Crusades. The castle fell to Coucy family, Roucy, Sarrebruck... by marriage only.

When the last Sarrebruch died, Montmirail fell to Charles de Silly, lord of La Roche-Guyon. His son Jacques reraised the old castle. And then, Montmirail was owned by his niece, Philip-Emmanuel de Gondi’s wife.

Aah, Gondi! Here we are! He was a little dark-skinned, short-sighted chap: his parents wanted him to be a priest! He?! A Priest? Not really... He loved women, duels and intrigues! He came to Paris, and started to plot against cardinal Richelieu. Then, Gondi became cardinal, in 1652.

He defied king’s authority, so he was exiled and died alone in Saint-Denis abbey, near Paris, where he wrote his Memories...

And what about our castle? Gondi’s brother sold it in 1655... Duke of Noirmoutier owned it and transformed it. In 1672, another famous chap came: Michel Le Tellier, marquis de Louvois... king Louis XIV’s minister...

He owned the estate and Le Nôtre relaid out gardens... By the way, his son hosted king Louis XIV in 1687! They kept the castle until the 18th century... In 1914, general Von Bulow occupied the castle with his troops, the German army did the same in 1940...

About the the author

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