Little histories about Culan castle

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Culan castle Castle Joan of Arc George Sand Mme de Sévigné Maximilien de Béthune Hundred Years War Crusades Legend Sorcery


Culan’s story began in 1080, with the construction of a wooden fortress by Gillardus de Linière. In 1188, French king Philip Augustus fought against the English and his troops put fire to the castle. 10 years later, Renoul I re-raised it.

In 1270, Renoul II transformed Culan into a real stronghold with its rampart flanks by 6 round towers and its big main building, we can still see overlooking the river Arnon.

3 towers with hoardings defended the main building: hoardings are at the top of towers, on the covered way. They allowed to the soldiers hiding inside to throw big stones on the enemy. Those hoarding were made of wood. And those of Culan are pretty well-preserved, unique in France!

A marshal, a Maid, a sultan

Louis and Gilles de Rais

In 1314, Culan became a barony. Yes, lords were pretty mighty, like for instance Louis de Culan, born in 1370. On July 17th 1429, Louis held the Holy Phial with Gilles de Rais, for king Charles VII’s coronation in Reims! Whoa, big honour… and our warrior retired in Culan.

The tradition says he raised a tower in Culan, based on the one he saw in Turkey! Turkey? Yes, he was locked in jail there, after he took part to the Crusade, fighting against the army of sultan Bayezid I.

Joan of Arc!

Louis came back in France and fought in Azincourt against the English, in 1415. King Charles VII appointed him admiral of France in 1422. Tireless! We also found him with Joan of Arc in Orléans. The tradition says that Louis hosted her in Culan, in November 1429, few months before her capture in Compiègne by the English...


A diabolical pact in Culan? Yes, the one made by Philippe de Culan, Louis’ nephew! This marshal of France, so respectable, made a pact with the Devil, to became richer. He saved his soul by selling a peasant’s one instead. Naughty one!

Sully’s horse

In 1599, Maximilien de Béthune (Henri IV’s famous minister) owned Culan. He raised the gallery on the northern wall, in the inner courtyard… to put his horse! Look at this place: we can see the rock where the castle was raised, but also the basis of the former keep.

A giant keep (about 17 metres of diameter), with a Mélusine weathercock at its top! This keep and the small castle were destroyed during the Fronde wars, in the 17th century.

Yes, prince de Condé’s big troops, who occupied the castle, had to surrender after 3 days of siege, in front of a tiny Royal army… but will powerful cannons!

Two famous ladies in Culan

Madame de Sévigné spent few days in Culan, (she was on her way for her treatment at the spa in Vichy). Oh, the lady was Condé’s friend, the owner… And what about the French author George Sand? Well, she broke her leg in the staircase!

The visit of Culan

We visit the red living-room (17th c.), the lord’s bedroom… Don’t miss the gorgeous hoardings and framework (raised in the Middle Ages)! Oh, and there are nice medieval gardens at the bottom of the castle: rose garden, medicinal plants… And from here, what a lovely view on the building! Here, we realize that it was raised on the rock.

And also!