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Margaret of Flanders in Germolles: the duchess' porcupines and thistles

Aerial view | Christian Degrigny / CC0
Castle Festivities Margaret III of Flanders Germolles castle

Worthy of a duchess!

The cloux Germolles

Germolles was a big farm in the 12th century. We even found renowned vineyards, the cloux Germolles!

In September 1381, duchess of Burgundy Margaret of Flanders owned the land: the previous lord sold it to Philibert Paillard, bailiff in Dijon in 1378.

Then, in 1383, this one sold it to the duchess.

Pretty uncomfortable!

Architect Drouet de Dammartin raised the castle. Stables were cleaned: master Robin Picquet, the stone carver, could take shelter in case of rain!

The duchess moved with her kids in the former dwelling house, to keep an eye on the building site. Pretty uncomfortable, but Margaret didn’t care. She even fit out a steam-room, like in ducal palace of Dijon!

The nicest court

Thistles and daisies

She called the best Burgundian artists, for the inner decoration: Claus Sluter, Jean de Baumetz, Jean de Marville…

This decoration used to be gorgeous: the painter Arnould Picornet created it. He painted 200 ewes in a room. In another one, thistles and white P and M (for Philip and Margaret).

We also found white and red roses with daisies (Margaret means ″daisy″ in French)...

Porcupine and cherries

The duchess asked her husband if she could host king of France Charles VI… the thing happened in February 1390! What a lovely party!

And in the meantime, Margaret pretended she was a farmer: she raised cows and sheeps, with all her doggies, her porcupine and her little exotic birds!

They also cultivated fruits and vegetables, including cherries, in 1386!

Nice remains!

The duchess died in 1405: her son John the Fearless inherited the estate. But he neglected it, and Germolles was abandoned… and to cap it all, a fire partially destroyed it at the end of the 19th century: today, the main building, the chapel and the small entrance castle are still standing.

About the the author

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