Claude Gouffier, the real Puss in Boots
Puss in Boots
King Charles VII gave Oiron lands to Guillaume Gouffier in 1449, and this one raised a medieval fortress surrounded by ditches.
Artus Gouffier, in 1516, added a gallery to the wing overlooking the courtyard. But it was Claude Gouffier, great squire of France, who really transformed Oiron, in 1540.
He created an upper gallery above the lower gallery, a gorgeous room (50 metres long) with huge paintings; he also raised a round tower crowned by a dome, with a main staircase... Really a huge building site, isn't it?
French author Charles Perrault was inspired by Claude, with his Spanish title of count of Caravaz, for his tale Le Chat Botté, « Puss in Boots » : a story where our famous marquis de Carabas appeared !
The visit of Oiron
We have here a nice Renaissance castle, with lovely decorations made by an Italian painter of the school of Fontainebleau!
Don’t miss the long gallery (55 metres long) and its 16th century paintings (13 scenes inspired by The Iliad and the Aeneid; the King’s bedroom flanks by a huge chimney sculpted with exotic animals representing the 4 parts of the world…)
Don’t forget the Horses gallery: Claude Gouffier was Great Squire of France, so he wanted to tribute to king Henri II’s horses in his castle.
They were painted plain on walls, with their names and their distinctive marks. The gallery still exists, but those paintings were damaged… a German artist, Georges Ettl, made them with charcoal.