A little history of Verteuil castle

The castleThe castle | ©Jack ma / CC-BY-SA

Rochefoucauld’s land

La Rochefoucauld! One of the most famous and oldest noble family in France, from Poitou! And Verteuil belonged to them, in 1080.

Besieged in 1135 by count of Angoulême Wilgrin, given to the English in 1360 with the treaty of Brétigny, conquered by the La Rochefoucauld in 1442, king Charles VII razed the fortress.

During wars of Religion, the owners changed religion and became Protestants: so the royal army besieged Verteuil in 1569! Whoa, lots of wars...

Upper crust came

And yet, several years before (in 1539), the La Rochefoucauld hosted crowned heads in their castle. Emperor Charles the Fifth, hosted with all his family, said he has never seen a house like this!

Kings François I came in 1516, Henri II in 1558, the future Henri IV in 1572, on his way for his wedding, Catherine of Medici in 1578… finally, Louis XIII and Ann of Austria in 1616.

A writer’s exile

In the 17th century, a famous man lived in Verteuil: duke de La Rochefoucauld François IV, the famous writer, who spent several exiles in his castle, between 1637 and 1659.

Exiles? He took part in the Fronde rebellion against the young king Louis XIV, so they locked him in the Bastille jail…

But the La Rochefoucauld abandoned the castle, then, and moved in another estates. Damages during the French revolution, Verteuil was nevertheless restored in the 19th century.