La Folie Castle
La Folie Castle, locally known as Château de La Folie, lies on a ridge to the south of the town of Braine in the Aisne department in the Picardy region in France.
La Folie Castle was built in the late 12th or early 13th century at the edge of a very steep plateau overlooking the town of Braine and the whole valley of the Vesle. It was built by Robert II Count of Dreux and Braine, grandson of Louis VI of France and nephew of Philip II of France.
In the 15th century, during the 100-Years War, a successor of the Counts of Dreux and Braine, Robert Sarrebruche, sided with the Burgundians, allies to the English, against the King of France Charles VII supported by the Armagnacs. In 1423 the Armagnacs besieged the garrison at La Folie Castle. The garrison was decimated during a sortie and the castle fell. After that the castle was burned and dismantled, never to be rebuilt again.
During the 18th century the castle ruins were part of a hunting park of a descendant of the Lords of Braine; the Count of Egmont. The French Revolution saw the confiscation and sell of the domain.
During World War I the area suffered heavy bombings which also greatly damaged the ruins of the castle. In 1977 the domain was ceded to the town of Braine by its last private owner.
At present the remnants of La Folie Castle are very much overgrown with lush green vegetation which makes it hard to see much architectural detail. The site is also fenced off because of the danger of falling stones. A hidden ruin which would be much nicer if the vegetation was cleared.