Gandelu Castle, locally known as Château de Gandelu, lies on a hill above the village with the same name, north west of the town of Château-Thierry in the Aisne department in the Picardy region in France.
Gandelu Castle was probably built in the early 12th century. It controlled the road from Paris to Reims. It was first mentioned in the 13th century when it belonged to the Gavres family. In 1378 the German Emperor stopped here on his way to Paris to visit the King of France.
In 1397 Jean de Chatillon sold Gandelu Castle to the Duke of Orléans; Louis de France. When the Duke was assassinated in 1407, a war followed and around 1410 the castle was partially destroyed by the troops of the Duke of Burgundy.
In 1527 the French King Francis I gave the castle as a present to Madeleine of Savoy when she married his army commander and Grand Master of France; Anne de Montmorency. In 1554 they built a Renaissance castle on the foundations of its 12th century predecessor using stones from local quarries. The architect of this new castle was Jean Bullant who also rebuilt Fère Castle.
In 1610 the young Louis XIII was entertained at Gandelu Castle during one night. The castle remained in the De Montmorency family until it went to the Potier family who were Dukes of Gevres.
At the end of the 18th century Gandelu Castle was abandoned and already in ruins, probably due to lack of maintenance, and later its ruins were used as a quarry by the villagers.
In 1920 the remains of Gandelu Castle were sold to an M. Mercereau by a schoolteacher who had first felled all the trees on the property.
At present Gandelu Castle consists of the round 12th century tower, the ruin of one square tower of the Renaissance castle, a modern house and walls. It is privately inhabited and can not be visited.
A nice castle in a quiet village, not too much to see though.