Argentan Ducal Castle

Argentan Ducal Castle, locally known as Château des Ducs, Logis des Ducs or simply Grand Logis, lies in the town of the same name, in the Orne department in France.

The building of Argentan Ducal Castle, on the site of an earlier castle of the Dukes go Normandy which was destroyed by the English in 1356, is attributed to Pierre II, Count of Alençon, after he had bought the position of Viscount of Argentan in 1372. When completed Pierre lived in the castle until his death in 1404. 

The present castle is the remnant of Pierre's castle. Originally it was larger and connected by galleries and walls to the castle chapel next to it and a tower which was part of the town's ramparts.

In 1517 Francis I of France stayed in the castle for several weeks during a visit to his sister Marguerite of Angoulême who, at that time, was married to Charles IV of Alençon. During that visit a feast was held. Leonardo da Vinci was one of the guests. Francis again stayed in the castle in 1531. During this stay, less than 2 weeks, he was accompanied by Nostradamus.

In 1562 it was again visited by royalty; Catherine de' Medici with her husband Henry II of France and their 5 children. Her son Charles IX of France received the papal legate here in 1570.

In 1589 Henry IV of France stayed at the castle during his preparations for the siege of Falaise Castle. And, during that siege, even returned here to celebrate Christmas. A couple of years before, in 1586, the castle had been turned into a residence for the governors of Argentan. It stayed the governor's residence until 1727, during which time it was substantially altered.

In 1727 the castle was turned into the town hall and town prison and during the next centuries was again altered to fit its use. In 1944 it suffered considerable damage from bombings but was restored afterwards.

At present Argentan Ducal Castle can not be visited as it is used as the local courthouse. A nice building not worth a visit on its own account but nice together with the nearby Argentan Tower and the Marguerite Tower.


Gallery

Argentan Ducal Castle

Argentan Ducal Castle, locally known as Château des Ducs, Logis des Ducs or simply Grand Logis, lies in the town of the same name, in the Orne department in France.

The building of Argentan Ducal Castle, on the site of an earlier castle of the Dukes go Normandy which was destroyed by the English in 1356, is attributed to Pierre II, Count of Alençon, after he had bought the position of Viscount of Argentan in 1372. When completed Pierre lived in the castle until his death in 1404. 

The present castle is the remnant of Pierre's castle. Originally it was larger and connected by galleries and walls to the castle chapel next to it and a tower which was part of the town's ramparts.

In 1517 Francis I of France stayed in the castle for several weeks during a visit to his sister Marguerite of Angoulême who, at that time, was married to Charles IV of Alençon. During that visit a feast was held. Leonardo da Vinci was one of the guests. Francis again stayed in the castle in 1531. During this stay, less than 2 weeks, he was accompanied by Nostradamus.

In 1562 it was again visited by royalty; Catherine de' Medici with her husband Henry II of France and their 5 children. Her son Charles IX of France received the papal legate here in 1570.

In 1589 Henry IV of France stayed at the castle during his preparations for the siege of Falaise Castle. And, during that siege, even returned here to celebrate Christmas. A couple of years before, in 1586, the castle had been turned into a residence for the governors of Argentan. It stayed the governor's residence until 1727, during which time it was substantially altered.

In 1727 the castle was turned into the town hall and town prison and during the next centuries was again altered to fit its use. In 1944 it suffered considerable damage from bombings but was restored afterwards.

At present Argentan Ducal Castle can not be visited as it is used as the local courthouse. A nice building not worth a visit on its own account but nice together with the nearby Argentan Tower and the Marguerite Tower.


Gallery