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Marshal de Contades: Montgeoffroy, pâté and Marie-Antoinette

Contades | ÖNB / Public domain
Castle of the Loire Valley Castle Accident Jean-Benoît Barré Marie-Antoinette Louis-Georges-Erasme de Contades Montgeoffroy castle

Montgeoffroy castle was put up by the Parisian architect Jean-Benoît Barré for the marshal of Contades, between 1773 and 1776. A brand new comfortable Classical castle... in 1780, the marshal moved in. He fit out luxurious interiors full of precious furnitures and delicate panellings.

Originally, the Contades family came from Southern France (Languedoc). From South, they moved in Anjou, Western France! Louis-Georges-Erasme de Contades was the first one to settle here.

He was 68 years old. His military career had exhausted him: all he needed was a good old retirement with his family...

Mister was marshal of France, and he was very rich, too: he was the first one who invited young Marie-Antoinette in a ball in France, in 1770!

5 years later, he was the one who carried the crown during Louis XVI’s coronation in Reims... Contades spent 300 000 livres for Montgeoffroy. Hey, next to nothing for this chap...

Unfortunately, he was appointed governor of Strasbourg and moved in Eastern France. Anyway, the marshal and his family were forced to go into self imposed exile, when the Revolution came. To escape from the guillotine! They moved in Livry, near Paris: Georges died here, in 1795, he was 92 years old.

Gossips says he died after a violent quarrel with one of his domestic... What about Montgeoffroy? The castle was spared from damages, thanks to the marshal’s grand-son, Marie-Jean Hérault de Séchelles !

The Contades, back from exile, get their castle back... and Hérault was executed.

About the the author

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