Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: 17 Rue du Château Fort, Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines, France.

Website

Druyes Castle

Druyes Castle, locally known as Château Fort de Druyes, lies in the village of Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines, in the Yonne department in France.

Druyes Castle first began to be mentioned in the late 12th century, so it probably was built around that time. The village however was already at this location since the 9th century and had been property of the Count of Nevers since 1032.

At the end of the 12th century the castle had become the residence of Peter II of Courtenay, cousin of Philip II of France by marriage. In 1216 Peter II received a delegation of barons who had come to offer him the crown of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. He accepted and started his journey to Constantinople via Rome, where he was crowned by the Pope. Peter II however never reached Constantinople because he was captured in 1217 while traveling through present-day Albania. Around 1219 he was probably executed.

Druyes Castle then fell to his daughter Matilda I, Countess of Nevers, who came regularly to stay at Druyes Castle. After her death the County of Nevers, to which the castle belonged, was inherited through a female line until 1280. Then it passed to the Counts of Flanders. They however abandoned the castle, consequently it lost its status and deteriorated. The castle became home only to a captain and garrison responsible for its defence, but its military role remained important and it is likely that it was affected by the ravages of the Hundred Years' War. Between 1378 and 1384, the castle was repaired and its defences were strengthened.

Over the next centuries possession of the County of Nevers, and thus Druyes Castle, passed through the hands of various rulers. In 1659 the county was bought by Cardinal Mazarin. He raised the county to a duchy and offered it to his nephew Philippe Jules Mancini. The last Duke of Nevers sold the castle to Louis Damas, Marquis of Anlezy, in 1738. The Damas family then built a new castle next to the medieval one, which was by then probably already a ruin. By 1795 they were in debt and sold both castles for demolition. The new castle completely disappeared but the ruined Druyes Castle escaped the same fate. Although it remained the ruin decayed further during the next centuries. Only in the 2nd part of the 20th century interest in the castle returned and it was consolidated. At present it is still slowly being restored.

Druyes Castle is part of the first generation of castles built in a style of French military architecture now called "Philippian" after Philip II of France. It consists of a square enclosure with round towers at its corners. In the middle of 3 of the curtain walls are square towers, one of them higher than the others and serving as a gatehouse.

At present Druyes Castle can be visited for a fee. A very nice castle in a sleepy village.


Gallery

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: 17 Rue du Château Fort, Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines, France.

Website

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: 17 Rue du Château Fort, Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines, France.

Website

Druyes Castle

Druyes Castle, locally known as Château Fort de Druyes, lies in the village of Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines, in the Yonne department in France.

Druyes Castle first began to be mentioned in the late 12th century, so it probably was built around that time. The village however was already at this location since the 9th century and had been property of the Count of Nevers since 1032.

At the end of the 12th century the castle had become the residence of Peter II of Courtenay, cousin of Philip II of France by marriage. In 1216 Peter II received a delegation of barons who had come to offer him the crown of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. He accepted and started his journey to Constantinople via Rome, where he was crowned by the Pope. Peter II however never reached Constantinople because he was captured in 1217 while traveling through present-day Albania. Around 1219 he was probably executed.

Druyes Castle then fell to his daughter Matilda I, Countess of Nevers, who came regularly to stay at Druyes Castle. After her death the County of Nevers, to which the castle belonged, was inherited through a female line until 1280. Then it passed to the Counts of Flanders. They however abandoned the castle, consequently it lost its status and deteriorated. The castle became home only to a captain and garrison responsible for its defence, but its military role remained important and it is likely that it was affected by the ravages of the Hundred Years' War. Between 1378 and 1384, the castle was repaired and its defences were strengthened.

Over the next centuries possession of the County of Nevers, and thus Druyes Castle, passed through the hands of various rulers. In 1659 the county was bought by Cardinal Mazarin. He raised the county to a duchy and offered it to his nephew Philippe Jules Mancini. The last Duke of Nevers sold the castle to Louis Damas, Marquis of Anlezy, in 1738. The Damas family then built a new castle next to the medieval one, which was by then probably already a ruin. By 1795 they were in debt and sold both castles for demolition. The new castle completely disappeared but the ruined Druyes Castle escaped the same fate. Although it remained the ruin decayed further during the next centuries. Only in the 2nd part of the 20th century interest in the castle returned and it was consolidated. At present it is still slowly being restored.

Druyes Castle is part of the first generation of castles built in a style of French military architecture now called "Philippian" after Philip II of France. It consists of a square enclosure with round towers at its corners. In the middle of 3 of the curtain walls are square towers, one of them higher than the others and serving as a gatehouse.

At present Druyes Castle can be visited for a fee. A very nice castle in a sleepy village.


Gallery

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address: 17 Rue du Château Fort, Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines, France.

Website