Montpoupon castle: Mons Poppo and the Prie family

The castleThe castle | ©Nitot / CC-BY-SA

Mons Poppo

In 1208 appeared the first mention of the keep of Montpoupon, Mons Poppo. Located on a hill overlooking the road leading to Aquitaine (Southern France), this stronghold fell to the family de Prie, in the 14th century. Who were they? Vassals of house of d’Amboise. An important family!

Antoine de Prie raised the fortress at the end of the 15th century: hey, the former one was entirely damaged by the English during the Hundred Years War. But Antoine was pretty sentimental... he kept the old keep!

But he added a big Gothic main building. His son added the small entrance castle in the 16th century. The Prie family succeeded one another until the middle of the 17th century.

Favourite and governess

At that time, the most famous member of the family turned up. Guess who? Louise de Prie, duchess de La Motte-Houdancourt… king Louis XIV liked her very much!

The chronicler Saint-Simon said she was ″virtuous and pretty″ and added in his Memories: ″She was beautiful. She was the sweetest lady in the world, who took care of the king’s children. She raised them with dignity and politeness.″

The king appointed her ″governess of the Children of France″, is that all? Louise settled in Montpoupon, then, to raise her own daughters (she had 3): she also became a widow, at the age of 33… Then, her daughter, the duchess de Ventadour, was appointed new royal governess.

Damaged, the castle was sold in 1763 to marquis de Tristan, who decided to transform it into a farm. He destroyed the mullioned windows, put ceilings instead of the beautiful painted beams… Preserved during the French Revolution (except the chapel), the new owners added outhouses and stables in the 19th century.