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Little histories about la Chapelle-d'Angillon castle: principality, Sully and Grand Maulnes

The castle | / CC-BY-NC-SA
Castle Maximilien de Béthune La Chapelle-d'Angillon castle

The origin of La Chapelle

Our story began in the 11th century, when Gilon de Sully raised a 5 floors keep. On the ground floor was ″the Treasure″, the place where the lords used to mint money.

Boisbelle, a Monaco from Berry

In the next century, a lord of Sully created the principality of Boisbelle. La Chapelle-d’Angillon used to be part of a tiny land, a principality like Andorra or Monaco…

There, lords minted coins and inhabitants didn’t pay taxes!

The Sully

Eudes de Sully, famous bishop of Paris who raised Notre-Dame cathedral and cathedral in Bourges, was born here!

In the 15th century, the last Sully, Marie, married Charles d'Albret: those two ones raised the Gothic chapel and the octagonal tower. They entirely transformed the old medieval fortress into a nice brick dwelling house, with mullioned windows.

They also fit out the Guards’ room and apartments on the first floor. And they added monks’ sculptures under one window: one has rabbit’s ear, the other one has his robe opened!

The German princess’ story

In 1504, Marie II d'Albret, duchess of Nevers, married Charles, duke de Clèves. They raised the arches gallery, on the right side of the courtyard.

In 1528, their son François de Clèves married Marguerite de Bourbon, future king Henri IV's auntie. Their son, Jacques, married Diane de La Marck. The Clèves was a famous German family: among them, we had Anne de Clèves, king of England Henri VIII’s wife!

Famous French author Madame de La Fayette drew her inspiration from Diane de La Marck to write her novel La Princesse de Clèves in 1678, a story evoking castle of La Chapelle!

The Grand Sully in La Chapelle

The Clèves sold their castle 56000 livres in 1605 to Maximilien de Béthune. King Henri IV’s famous minister!

Here, Sully could keep an eye on his plan: the creation of an ideal city named Henrichemont, the main city of Boisbelle principality.

Sully also landscaped the big pond and the terrace, with the help of architect Salomon de Brosse.

Grand Meaulnes and yataghans

Sully’s descendant kept the castle until 1766. Then, the land was annexed by the French Crown: it was the end of the principality of Boisbelle!

Other time, other customs: after World War II, a diplomat owned La Chapelle-d'Angillon: Henri Coursier.

He restored it and then his daughter, countess d’Ogny, opened it to the public: we can see here plenty of souvenirs link to the French author Alain Fournier, author of the famous novel Le Grand Meaulnes… born in La Chapelle-d'Angillon !

And don’t miss the souvenirs link to the monarchy of Albania! The d’Ogny were close friends with the pretender to the throne, Leka I: yataghans, traditional costumes… a unique collection! Besides, the castle houses the Royal Foundation of Albania.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!