Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address:

La Motte Forte Tower: Rue de l'Église

Castle: Rue du Château

Both in Arnay-le-Duc, France

previousnext

Arnay-le-Duc Castle

Tour de La Motte Forte

There are actually 2 buildings that can be called Arnay-le-Duc Castle in the town of the same name in the Côte-d'Or department in France.

The first building is a tower which is now known as Tour de La Motte Forte, which translates back to Tower of the Strong Motte. It is the only remnant of the first Arnay-le-Duc Castle. That castle was already mentioned in the late 11th century. Apparently it was in a damaged state in 1362 when it was ceded by Jean II de Melun, Count of Tancarville, to the inhabitants of Arnay with the obligation to restore, maintain and defend it.

Between 1529 and 1536 the old castle was used as a quarry for building materials during the reconstruction of the town walls and its towers by the locals, with authorization from the French king. During the rest of the 16th century some repairs were made to the ruined castle but around 1700 it had been completely demolished, with exception of the present tower. The tower would probably have been part of the old castle's enclosure. During the 18th century the tower was used by the local council, also as a jail.

Archaeological excavations near the tower and around the church, in the 19th century, showed evidence of a Roman castrum at this site. In modern times the tower was used for exhibitions until 2015. Now it is closed due to the dilapidated state of its interior.

The second building is a castle which is now known as the Château des Princes de Condé, which translates back to the Castle of the Princes of Condé. It was built in the mid-16th century by the Lord of Juilly as a mansion. Maybe also stones from the medieval castle were used? In 1570 it was visited by Henry of Bourbon, the future Henry IV of France.

Between 1634 and 1654 the castle was owned by the Princes of Condé, who carried out numerous improvements. The Count of Harcourt then acquired it in 1655.

In 1747 the castle was used as a prison for Dutch soldiers. The emptied castle was handed to the local council, in 1756, for use as a town hall. This situation lasted until 1792, when it was confiscated, during the French Revolution, and sold as National property. It then became a textile factory. Although changing hands several times, this industrial use of the castle lasted until 1957.

A decade of restoration by the town followed and industrial outbuildings which had been added through time were removed. Since 1967 the castle is now used as a boarding school.

At present both the tower and the castle can not be visited but easily seen from the public roads.


Gallery

Tour de La Motte Forte

Château des Princes de Condé

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address:

La Motte Forte Tower: Rue de l'Église

Castle: Rue du Château

Both in Arnay-le-Duc, France

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address:

La Motte Forte Tower: Rue de l'Église

Castle: Rue du Château

Both in Arnay-le-Duc, France

previousnext

Arnay-le-Duc Castle

Tour de La Motte Forte

There are actually 2 buildings that can be called Arnay-le-Duc Castle in the town of the same name in the Côte-d'Or department in France.

The first building is a tower which is now known as Tour de La Motte Forte, which translates back to Tower of the Strong Motte. It is the only remnant of the first Arnay-le-Duc Castle. That castle was already mentioned in the late 11th century. Apparently it was in a damaged state in 1362 when it was ceded by Jean II de Melun, Count of Tancarville, to the inhabitants of Arnay with the obligation to restore, maintain and defend it.

Between 1529 and 1536 the old castle was used as a quarry for building materials during the reconstruction of the town walls and its towers by the locals, with authorization from the French king. During the rest of the 16th century some repairs were made to the ruined castle but around 1700 it had been completely demolished, with exception of the present tower. The tower would probably have been part of the old castle's enclosure. During the 18th century the tower was used by the local council, also as a jail.

Archaeological excavations near the tower and around the church, in the 19th century, showed evidence of a Roman castrum at this site. In modern times the tower was used for exhibitions until 2015. Now it is closed due to the dilapidated state of its interior.

The second building is a castle which is now known as the Château des Princes de Condé, which translates back to the Castle of the Princes of Condé. It was built in the mid-16th century by the Lord of Juilly as a mansion. Maybe also stones from the medieval castle were used? In 1570 it was visited by Henry of Bourbon, the future Henry IV of France.

Between 1634 and 1654 the castle was owned by the Princes of Condé, who carried out numerous improvements. The Count of Harcourt then acquired it in 1655.

In 1747 the castle was used as a prison for Dutch soldiers. The emptied castle was handed to the local council, in 1756, for use as a town hall. This situation lasted until 1792, when it was confiscated, during the French Revolution, and sold as National property. It then became a textile factory. Although changing hands several times, this industrial use of the castle lasted until 1957.

A decade of restoration by the town followed and industrial outbuildings which had been added through time were removed. Since 1967 the castle is now used as a boarding school.

At present both the tower and the castle can not be visited but easily seen from the public roads.


Gallery

Tour de La Motte Forte

Château des Princes de Condé

Year of visit
  • 2020

Location

Address:

La Motte Forte Tower: Rue de l'Église

Castle: Rue du Château

Both in Arnay-le-Duc, France