Here’s the last remain of the proud and impregnable castle of Sancerre, destroyed in 1621 by governor of Berry Henri de Bourbon, because the city housed Protestants during the war of Religion.
Yes! The most important event in the castle’s story was the siege of the royal army against Protestants.
An army led by Claude de La Châtre, governor who called Sancerre the ″unpleasant mountain″, because the city resisted! Raised on a rock in the 10th century, the old castle belonging to the count of Champagne used to overlook all the city. His plan was a triangle. His rampart was composed of several towers: the higher one was the tour des Fiefs.
• To the east, the St-Georges tower, with its small oratory which used to be the count of Sancerre’s private chapel, and on which they lit fires during battles. People could see those lights in a 40-km radius!
• To the south-east, the St-Hilaire tower and the Dauphine tower.
• To the south-west, the Oval tower
• At the north-west, the Fiefs tower, because it belonged to several fiefs in the area.
The Fiefs tower was raised by Guy de Dammartin, duke Jean de Berry’s architect, between 1390 and 1398 for Jean III de Sancerre.
The tower is round outside, hexagonal inside. Inside, too, a very rustic wooden staircase dates back to 1856. One floor used to house a jail. Below, the other floors used to be accommodations. And at the top of the tower (30 metres high!), the view is just amazing!
So, once we’re on top, phew! We breathe fresh air. And we see the little brick manor house raised in 1874 by Miss de Crussol d’Uzès upon the former St-Georges tower. A lady who inherited the fortress of Sancerre from her family, the Roy, who owned it themselves after the French Revolution from a lord d’Espagnac…
The tower and the small manor today belong to the family Marnier-Lapostolle... creator of the famous Grand Marnier!