Saturday, August 08, 2009

Le Château De Saint-Aignan

I've been referring to St.-Aignan's château throughout this series. The château is certainly the most prominent and visible landmark in town; it's built high up on the bluff above the river.

The château seen from the bridge over the Cher River.

The current building dates from the sixteenth century, built in the renaissance style. There are parts of the old medieval buildings here and there, including some of the ramparts. Unfortunately for us tourists, the château is privately owned and lived in, so there are no tours of the interior.

St.-Aignan's château rises above the town.

However, the courtyard and terrace are open to the public, so we can climb up and have a look, both at the building's exterior and of the views of the town and river valley. You never know, one day the owners may decide to allow tours in exchange for government restoration funds.

A restored or rebuilt vestige of the medieval castle.

There's not much information about the château that I've been able to find. Of course, I'm not doing any serious research here; this is just a casual blog. I'm certain that there must exist, somewhere, many documents and accounts of the history of the buildings and those who occupied them. I'll leave that to the more serious-minded. I have grass to cut and logs to saw.

The château seen from an island in the river.


  1. Hi Walt,

    Yesterday you called for volunteers in your investigation into the "Incident of the Red Beer".

    Out of a generous heart and a deep sense of commitment to the common good, I offer myself to serve this cause.

    As it happens, I will be in the area next month when, hopefully, this case can be concluded and the mystery beer identified. In the meantime I will cooperate with whatever beer-tasting efforts you may require in furtherance of a successful outcome.

    your most humble & obedient lower-case servant,


    PS Really enjoying all the Saint Aignan pictures!

  2. Thanks for continuing the series on SA. Your photos are reminding me of my delightful visit to your wonderful town.


  3. Walt, do you or Ken know why there is a hyphen in the name Saint-Aignan?

    I was also wondering if you know whether or not the current inhabitants of the château are descendants of a family that has lived there for eons, or if they are simple folks who bought it somewhere along the way in recent times?

    I am impressed, by the way, with your hard work with the chevalet!


  4. Judy, compound place names take a hyphen in French. Even New-York and San-Francisco should be written with a hyphen, when you're writing in French, but people do that less and less. French place names with articles are an exception — you write Le Havre, but then you write Le Grand-Pressigny. Or La Nouvelle-Orléans. (CHM will correct me if I'm wrong.)

    The Word Verification string is "cityper" — cityperfect, I guess.

  5. The château looks like it could use a bit of restoration.

  6. learn something new EVERY day it seems... merci, Ken :)


  7. As usual, Ken is perfectly right. For instance, you should write saint Aignan with a lower case "s" when you talk about the saint, but Saint-Aignan with an upper case "s" and an hyphen if you talk about a town or the name of a church dedicated to saint Aignan. Simple.

    I fought for years to restore in French the hyphen in New York, San Francisco, San Diego, San Antonio and, of course La Nouvelle-Orleans; but there is none in Los Angeles.

  8. Walt, this series on the area is a wonderful treat for me. Thanks for finding and linking to the documentary on the mill.

  9. bill, thank you for enlisting. Our task is daunting, but we shall prevail.

    bettyann, glad you're enjoying them! There are more...

    judy, yes, I do, and so do Ken and CHM. And the current residents are not descendants of the original Duke. They're a family that bought the place a while back.

    starman, yes, it has seen better days.

    ckb & chm, thanks!

    will, you bet! I just happened on that little video by accident, and I was really glad to have found it.

  10. Bill in NH, where in NH are you? I'm in Raymond. It's rare to fine anyone else from NH on any of the blogs I read regularly.


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