The current palace dates back to the 16th century, transformed for the Gonzague. Do you know one of them, Louis de Gonzague, introduced the famous art of the faience from Nevers? Before that, François de Clèves, Marguerite de Bourbon’s husband, became duke of Nevers: their daughter Henriette married in 1565 Louis de Gonzague, duke of Mantua’s son.
An Italian in the Court! A chap loyal to the king of France, who introduced the faience in France. After the faience, the Gonzague had another project: to embellish their castle! Yes, little things worried them… like this big medieval rampart with crenelates which closed the palace’s courtyard.
Shoo, the ugly rampart was replaced by a wrought iron gate, more delicate. At the same time, duke Charles II de Gonzague (17th c.) raised the Ducal square.
Among the Gonzague, we have two famous ladies, in the 17th century: the first one was Louise-Marie de Gonzague, Charles III de Nevers’ daughter and king Louis XIII’s godchild. Gaston d’Orléans, king’s brother, fell in love with her… But queen Marie of Medici kept her weather eye open!
She forbade her son to see Louise-Marie and locked this one in the castle of Vincennes.: hey, dukes de Nevers plotted against Marie, in the past! So there! First hopping mad, Gaston finally gave up his love affair: Louise-Marie became bitter, long after the story happened… She became queen of Poland, twice.
The second lady was Anne de Gonzague, Louise-Marie’s sister. Anne first ran away from the convent where she was locked! Witty, pretty, she fell in love with her cousin Henri II de Guise (yet archbishop of Reims), with whom she secretly married in 1639. In order to meet up with him in Sedan, she had to run away from her family, dressed up as a man… Bad luck: 2 years after, Guise ditched her…
After she brought an action against him, to be recognize as his legal wife, Anne became princess Palatine with her marriage with Edouard of Bavaria, count Palatine: king of Bohemia, he was lack-land and penniless. Whoa! Anne really had bad luck with men...