Ussé, Perrault's fairy tale castle
The legend says famous French writer Charles Perrault was inspired by the castle for his "Sleeping Beauty".
Perrault was a great friend of lord of Ussé, he stayed many times in the castle and described it a lot in its "Memories".
Anyway, Ussé owns its name from a Celtic name: Uch means "high". The place was called Uceio, then Ucé and finally Ussé.
The fief was very important in the beginning of the 11th century, belonging to a Danish lord, Gelduin the First, nicknamed "Devil of Saumur", the enemy of Foulques Nerra. This lord raised a former fortress.
Then, in the 16th century, Ussé fell to the MonteJean family, then to Jean de Bueil. When this one passed away in 1477, his son Antoine, a famous admiral, altered the main building.
In the middle of the 16th century, Ussé was restored by the d'Espinay family; Jacques d'Espinay transformed the dwelling in the courtyard into a Renaissance building.
His son Charles founded a collegiate church. Then, the castle fell to several owners, Louis Bernin de Valentinay included, who married off his son Louis to Jeanne le Prêtre de Vauban, daughter of the famous military architect Vauban.
Famous Le Nôtre laid out the garden overlooking river Indre. Then, Ussé fell to the duke of Rohan-Monbazon, then to the duke de Duras in 1807.