The Courtenay family raised the first castle in the 14th century. And Tanlay fell to Louise de Montmorency, in 1535: she was the famous Protestant admiral Gaspard de Coligny’s widow. Their youngest son, François d’Andelot, inherited the estate few years later.
Well, he spent his life on the battlefields! So he had little time to alter his castle. In 1559, he raised the ″League’s tower″. In 1565, a park was landscaped. What about the inner decoration? A period document told us about a gallery, a ″Priests’ room″, and a study decorated with allegories...
Tanlay fell to Michel Particelli in 1642, cardinal Mazarin’s Lord High Treasurer. An Italian whose family came in France with queen Catherine of Medici, when she came to wed Henri II, king of France. Architect Pierre Le Muet, from Dijon, turned up and made alterations.
With him, a real army full of masons and sculptors arrived in the little village of Tanlay! The building work took time, so they had to call 2 surgeons and doctors for the sick persons! And Tanlay fell to Particelli’s relatives in 1704, who sold it to Jean Thévenin, squire and governor of Saint-Denis. The fief was raised to a marquisate for him.
Caillou des Barres wrote in his book Les châteaux d'Ancy-le-Franc, Saint-Fargeau, Chastellux et Tanlay: ″This nice fairy tale castle is the most perfect instance of the 16th century art.″ Let’s go!
• First, outside: the ″Green courtyard″, surrounds by walls and with a bridge flanks by two pyramids.
• Then, inside: the hall with cervids’ heads
• The Grand salon with its magnificent chimney, the nice panelings flank by MPH, for Michel Particelli d'Hémery. In this room, the book Notice sur le château de Tanlay says we find a ″bust of the admiral de Coligny, with a helmet, surrounds by two sphinx.″ Those two monsters would be the portrait of Catherine of Medici (yeah, the Coligny brothers hated her!)
• On the first floor, we have the Big Gallery (22 m. long): a gorgeous vaulted room with a ceiling decorated with mythological themes.
• Then, the climax: the ″League’s tower″ (tour de la Ligue), with its amazing wall paintings!
• Don’t miss the big park and the canal (535 metres long)...