Bénouville castle, Ledoux's little Neoclassical gem

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The castle - ©Pradigue / CC-BY-SA The castle - ©Pradigue / CC-BY-SA
Bénouville castle Castle Claude-Nicolas Ledoux

This is a masterpiece raised by French architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, main creator of neoclassical style. He completed the Arc-et-Senans royal salt-works, la Villette's rotunda and Hallwyll's city house in Paris. And of course, our castle of Bénouville!

The current castle was put up on the location of a former fortress built in the 15th century, bought in 1501 by Jean Guillain. In 1768, the new owners, the Livry family, decided to re-build the old castle. Finished in 1777, Bénouville is a pure neoclassical jewel. A sir called Jean-François Gillet, from Caen, completed the inner decoration: panelling, stuccos... the inner staircase was completed by Ledoux and Georges Jacob produced the gorgeous Louis XVI furniture.

But the marquis de Livry passed away, and his castle was just finished... His widow, indebted, fell that something was approaching: French revolution, indeed! She sold the castle and all the furniture to a fermier general. Luckily, Bénouville was spared by the Revolutionaries.

It was bought in 1927 by Calvados county council: it houses nowadays the Chambre des Comptes of Basse-Normandie département.

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