A little history of Château-Naillac

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The castle - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA The castle - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA
Château-Naillac Castle Museum

The castle

Brave knights coming!

Naillac? We know them, those brave knights coming from Creuse département (Limousin)! Yes, 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. The specific feature of that medieval fortress? It has 2 keeps, with several storeys! Square keeps typically Romanesque... But the Naillac died out without a male heir in the 15th c. Ouch!

Then came 2 heirs: Pierre Frotier (also lords of Azay-le-Ferron and the marshal of Boussac, Jean de Brosse. In 1430, it was finally Frotier who get the castle back.

He and his family could now lived 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... whoa, everything was made to give it a damn real rejuvenation!

La Parabère, the Regent's joli gigot

Then, several owners succeeded in one another. Hey, 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! Do you remember him? Yeah, that fat d’Orléans, a bit of a cradle-snatcher, who ruled waiting for the young Louis XIV grew up...

When Louis XIV died, la Parabère was send packing from the Court and moved in Le Blanc, in this castle where she made wonderful parties and had a nice life... The Regent called her “his little black crow” and after feasts... “his little leg” (petit gigot in French)!

She drank like a fish and ate like an ogress. She was pretty but sooooo 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 the castle of Chenonceau and was above all... famous writer George Sand’s grandfather!

Extensions and abandon

At that time, the two keeps were ruined: they started to raise the hug main building linking the two towers. Claude Dupin restored the castle and saved it during the Revolution. So, it fell to Dupin’s heirs in 1799.

One of them raised the iron gate at the entrance (coming from the castle of Rochefort in Sauzelles, Indre) and annex the church of St-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 until 1956! Since 1986, it houses the Brenne museum.

The visit of the castle

The musée de la Brenne let us discover the ponds of this French area.

• We start with the nice collection of 800 stuffed birds coming from the Brenne, collected by the naturalist Jean Génétoux in the 19th c. An incredible collection, some very well-preserved animals!

• On the first floor, a ponds’ presentation: their creation, their geology...

• Then, evocation of people’s life in the Brenne, in the past: a pretty poor area, often shook by starvations, rebellions.

• A room with a 19th c. forge scale model: the 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 frame by two beautiful windows. A pretty rare element from the first medieval castle!

And also!