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Sarzay Castle: one of the most unusual castles in France




Located in beautiful rural area, Sarzay Castle is an unusual tourist attraction in France. It is worth visiting for its authentic historical displays, carefully furnished rooms and stunning views. The outpost, recognized as a historical monument of France, can not only be visited for a small fee: you may also pick up medieval weapons, hunting trophies and stuffed animals.

Sarzay Castle
Sarzay Castle. Photo: Manfred Heyde, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Sarzay Castle
Sarzay Castle. Photo: Jean-David et Anne-Laure, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The construction of the castle was started in 1348 by Guillaume de Barbançois. The outpost was supposed to be part of a chain of defenses built by the French to restrain the British during the Hundred Years’ War. Guillaume built six towers, a moat and a pond, and surrounded everything with a powerful wall. The tower of the chapel is the only one that has survived from that time.

Sarzay Castle
Sarzay Castle. Photo: Peyot, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Sarzay Castle
Castle courtyard. Photo: Daniel Jolivet / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Almost a hundred years later, in 1440, a descendant of Guillaume, Jean de Barbançois, built 32 more towers.

Sarzay Castle
View of the castle from the centre of the village. Photo: Daniel VILLAFRUELA, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sarzay Castle, a 14th-century fortress, was described by George Sand in her novel le Meunier d’Angibault . Once the outpost consisted of 38 towers and 3 drawbridges, and today it has a seigneurial residence surrounded by 5 round towers and moats. There is also a fortified chapel on the territory of the complex. This is a real trip to the Middle Ages!

Sarzay Castle
Chapel. Photo: CVB, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The fortress consisted of 4 floors. The kitchen was located in the basement, the room of justice occupied the first floor. The owner’s heated rooms were on the second floor. On the last floor there were rooms connected by a covered passage.

Sarzay Castle
Castle courtyard. Photo: Daniel Jolivet / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Over time, the fortunes of the de Barbançois family decreased, and in 1719 their castle, as well as the entire village of Sarzay, became the property of Charles de la Porte de Montval, whose family owned the castle until 1836.

Sarzay Castle
Interior of the castle. Photo: Manfred Heyde, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

After that, the complex was owned by different people, but it gradually fell into disrepair. In 1912 it was declared a national monument of France.

Sarzay Castle
Interior of the castle. Photo: CVB, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Be that as it may, Sarzay Castle not only survived the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion (1562-1598), the Fronde of 1648 and the French Revolution of 1789, but also looks perfect after the centuries of its history

Sarzay Castle
Sarzay Castle. Photo: Manfred Heyde, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Before the castle completely fell apart, it was acquired by the Parisian Richard Hurbain. In 1983, he promised to restore it and kept his word despite the many obstacles created by the local authorities.

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