1551. Anne de Montmorency, marshal of France and king François I’s old buddy, replaced the familial castle of Ecouen by a more comfortable Renaissance house. "You have one default: you don’t like the one I love", said François to Anne, in 1541.
Whoa, that was the end of a 40 years friendship. Because of a woman!! Who?! François’ mistress, duchess d’Etampes. Hey, Anne hated her… So, François seized everything he had: his privileges, his lands. Whoosh, he was expelled from the Court. And he took shelter in Ecouen.
You know what? Gossips says that he raised huge ballasts around his castle, to hide Paris and its royal court! Meanwhile, Anne lived in Ecouen with his wife Madeleine of Savoy and their 10 kids. One of them, François, married Diane de France in Ecouen, king Henri II’s legitimate daughter: whoa, what a nice wedding!
Then, Ecouen fell to Henri II de Montmorency (Anne’s grand-son) in 1552: he called the architect Jean Bullant to make embellishments. Royal apartments were fit out, with gorgeous chimneys.
But Henri was decapitated in the Capitole of Toulouse, in 1632, do you remember? So, Ecouen fell to his cousin, prince de Condé. But Condé had his own castle, Chantilly. He never came in Ecouen...