Sunday, August 09, 2009

La Cour D'Honneur

The Court of Honor. This is a general term for the interior courtyard of a château or other large building or complex of buildings. I think. At any rate, St.-Aignan's château has a cour d'honneur that is open to the public. It's also the owner's parking lot.

The castle's main interior staircase in the renaissance wing.

The château itself forms most of the north border of the courtyard and wraps a little around the eastern side where a grand stair comes up from town. A very noticeable feature on the courtyard side of the château is the circular stair; it was modeled after a similar but more elaborate stair in the royal château in Blois, about twenty-two miles north of St.-Aignan.

A southeastern view with the octagonal tower on the right.

On the south side of the courtyard, there is an octagonal tower, a remnant of the earlier castle on the site, and stable buildings. Through the windows in the tower you can see some hunting trophies (read: stuffed heads and antlers) and other hunting paraphernalia.

A closer look at the octagonal tower.

On the western side of the courtyard, built onto the vestiges of the medieval ramparts, is a building that served as the servants' quarters and workshops. There is also the coach gate that leads out of the courtyard, past the gatehouse, and down a sweeping drive way to the town below.

The former servants' quarters against the medieval wall and round tower.

The best feature of the courtyard is that you get views not only of the town below, but of the river and valley beyond. There is a large terrace off the renaissance wing of the château that faces north overlooking the river. On clear days, the views are pretty nice, but we'll get to those later.

The doors of what I think are the old stables and carriage barn.


  1. Walt

    Am I wrong to assume that the nicest façade faces the north and not many windows on the south side ? I would have thought that it would be otherwise but, I guess, when they started building it - maximising sunlight was not a must.

  2. Is all of it lived in by the current owners? Who are they?

  3. good questions.

    I love the virtual tour.



  4. It certainly is a beautiful chateau. Is there any information on the owners?

  5. I just Googled Château Saint-Aignan and discovered that it is available for Seminars, Receptions, Weddings and lodging.

  6. now that is a proper abode!

  7. Well, that Chateau Saint-Aignan is in the Bordeaux region and is not the same as THE Chateau de Saint-Aignan. Just like there are many Paris in the US, there may be several Saint-Aignan in France.

  8. beaver, I'm not sure about that. The fancy façade at St.-Aignan faces south. In Provence and other places where the mistral blows, the north side of a house has its back to the wind and therefore the windows, if any, are very small while the south side has big windows and doors.

    jean, gil, starman, the current owners live in the château and have the name la Roche-Aymon. They have the old title "marquis" and "marquise." Apparently one of them married into the original owners'family in the 18th century (merci chm).

    The château at St.-Aignan doesn't rent out anything that I know of except the old gatehouse which has been restored and is available as a holiday rental. It's a small two bedroom place, but very charming and nicely remodeled.

    urspo, but can you imagine the heating bill?? ;)

  9. TB, the nicest façade of the château in Saint-Aignan is the south-facing one. It's shown in the first picture in this blog topic. The north-facing façade, which you see from the bridge, is more than a little hétéroclite.

    A word verification string just for me today: winess. That's how I spell it after I've had some.

  10. I had the chance to stay at Saint-Aignan for 1 week, in the domain of the Marquis de Roche Aymon. Now there is one more guest house renovated, named "Gite Leonard", it was the place of living of the guardian of the castle in 19th century. It was such a beautiful place to stay in. The chateau was buit in 16th century and has been completed in some parts in 19th century, as it can be seen at the balustrade of the staircase, at the octogonal tower and in some parts of the noth side of the castle (neo-gothic windows). For me, it ressembles in some parts with castles of Chambord and Blois, but at a small scale and with a restrained decoration. It was absolutely beautiful.


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