Montluçon Ducal Castle

Montluçon Ducal Castle, locally known as Château des ducs de Bourbon, lies in the city of Montluçon, in the Allier department in France.

The site of Montluçon Castle, an oblong rock, was first used as a castrum and already had ramparts and a keep at the end of the 10th century. In 1070 the first castle was built here by a member of the House of Bourbon. This castle was taken after 2 sieges by the English who occupied it from 1171 until 1188. After that Philip II of France handed it to Guy II of Dampierre, who had become Lord of Bourbon through marriage. Guy then transformed the castle into a stronghold.

The castle we see today however dates back to 1370 when its construction was started, in the midst of the Hundred Years' War, by Louis II, Duke of Bourbon. During the next 100 years the castle was continuously being worked on by Louis and his successors. The square keep, the main building and the clock tower date back to the mid-15th century. The original wooden gallery dated back to the 2nd half of the 15th century but was removed during the 19th century. It was turned into a fortress with ramparts, 4 gates and dozens of towers. Later the castle became a comfortable residence for the Dukes of Bourbon.

After the historic Bourbonnais province became part of the Kingdom of France in 1527 under Francis I of France, Montluçon Castle lost its importance and was abandoned. In 1662 the dilapidated castle was conceded to a farmer and it slowly fell to ruin. During the French Revolution, at the end of the 18th century, the large rooms of the castle were probably still intact because they were taken into use as a police court and assembly location for the people of the town.

In 1816 the castle was acquired by the local council with the aim to turn it into an infantry barracks. During the rest of the 19th century most of what had remained was demolished or rebuilt in concrete. In the 1930's the city tried to restore it but again concrete and steel were used. Only the 15th century wooden gallery was properly restored.

At present the site of Montluçon Ducal Castle is a public park. The present buildings serve as a depot for a local museum and can not be visited. From the outside it looks nice. I don't think much historical detail remains inside.


Gallery

Montluçon Ducal Castle

Montluçon Ducal Castle, locally known as Château des ducs de Bourbon, lies in the city of Montluçon, in the Allier department in France.

The site of Montluçon Castle, an oblong rock, was first used as a castrum and already had ramparts and a keep at the end of the 10th century. In 1070 the first castle was built here by a member of the House of Bourbon. This castle was taken after 2 sieges by the English who occupied it from 1171 until 1188. After that Philip II of France handed it to Guy II of Dampierre, who had become Lord of Bourbon through marriage. Guy then transformed the castle into a stronghold.

The castle we see today however dates back to 1370 when its construction was started, in the midst of the Hundred Years' War, by Louis II, Duke of Bourbon. During the next 100 years the castle was continuously being worked on by Louis and his successors. The square keep, the main building and the clock tower date back to the mid-15th century. The original wooden gallery dated back to the 2nd half of the 15th century but was removed during the 19th century. It was turned into a fortress with ramparts, 4 gates and dozens of towers. Later the castle became a comfortable residence for the Dukes of Bourbon.

After the historic Bourbonnais province became part of the Kingdom of France in 1527 under Francis I of France, Montluçon Castle lost its importance and was abandoned. In 1662 the dilapidated castle was conceded to a farmer and it slowly fell to ruin. During the French Revolution, at the end of the 18th century, the large rooms of the castle were probably still intact because they were taken into use as a police court and assembly location for the people of the town.

In 1816 the castle was acquired by the local council with the aim to turn it into an infantry barracks. During the rest of the 19th century most of what had remained was demolished or rebuilt in concrete. In the 1930's the city tried to restore it but again concrete and steel were used. Only the 15th century wooden gallery was properly restored.

At present the site of Montluçon Ducal Castle is a public park. The present buildings serve as a depot for a local museum and can not be visited. From the outside it looks nice. I don't think much historical detail remains inside.


Gallery