Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle, locally known as Château de Belvoir, lies above the village of the same name in the Doubs department in France.

The site of Belvoir Castle, a spur overlooking a typical Jura landscape, was already in use during Gallic times as an oppidum. Later the Romans fortified it to control a nearby salt route. Belvoir Castle itself was built here at the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century by the Lords of Belvoir. In the middle of the 14th century the lordship passed to the Cusance family.

The Cusances were faithful vassals of the Duke of Burgundy, adversary of the French king Louis XI. After Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, was defeated and killed during the Battle of Nancy in 1477, the troops of Louis XI burnt down the castle in retalliation in 1480. Its estates were also sequestrated for 6 years. Thibaut de Cusance then restored and modernized the castle at the end of the 15th century.

Claude-Francois de Cusance erected the east wing to accommodate his young wife Ernestine de Withem, Marchioness of Bergen-op-Zoom, at the beginning of the 17th century. In 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War, the Franche-Comté region had been under Spanish rule for several years. The French troops of Francois-Henri de Montmorency, Duke of Luxembourg, took the castle. Belvoir Castle then was in danger of being destroyed but was saved because of the intervention of several nobles.

During the French Revolution, at the end of the 18th century, the castle was first confiscated but later apparently returned to its owners; the Rohan family, in the early 19th century. The castle had fallen in dilapidation which led to the demolition of the castle's west wing and also the gatehouse and prison towers. The rest of the castle was first rented out to a seminary followed by a school until it was abandoned to the archbishopric of Besançon by the heirs of the Rohan family. In 1848 was finally divided up and sold to several farmers.

In 1955 the castle was bought by the painter Pierre Jouffroy who started to restore it. Set back by a fire that ruined the east wing in 1968, the restoration lasted until his death in 2000.

At present Belvoir Castle, still owned by Jouffroy's descendants, can be visited for a fee. A nice castle in an lovely rural area. There is also a nice holiday apartement, situated in the cellars of the east wing of the castle, available for rent on Vrbo.


Gallery

Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle, locally known as Château de Belvoir, lies above the village of the same name in the Doubs department in France.

The site of Belvoir Castle, a spur overlooking a typical Jura landscape, was already in use during Gallic times as an oppidum. Later the Romans fortified it to control a nearby salt route. Belvoir Castle itself was built here at the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century by the Lords of Belvoir. In the middle of the 14th century the lordship passed to the Cusance family.

The Cusances were faithful vassals of the Duke of Burgundy, adversary of the French king Louis XI. After Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, was defeated and killed during the Battle of Nancy in 1477, the troops of Louis XI burnt down the castle in retalliation in 1480. Its estates were also sequestrated for 6 years. Thibaut de Cusance then restored and modernized the castle at the end of the 15th century.

Claude-Francois de Cusance erected the east wing to accommodate his young wife Ernestine de Withem, Marchioness of Bergen-op-Zoom, at the beginning of the 17th century. In 1674, during the Franco-Dutch War, the Franche-Comté region had been under Spanish rule for several years. The French troops of Francois-Henri de Montmorency, Duke of Luxembourg, took the castle. Belvoir Castle then was in danger of being destroyed but was saved because of the intervention of several nobles.

During the French Revolution, at the end of the 18th century, the castle was first confiscated but later apparently returned to its owners; the Rohan family, in the early 19th century. The castle had fallen in dilapidation which led to the demolition of the castle's west wing and also the gatehouse and prison towers. The rest of the castle was first rented out to a seminary followed by a school until it was abandoned to the archbishopric of Besançon by the heirs of the Rohan family. In 1848 was finally divided up and sold to several farmers.

In 1955 the castle was bought by the painter Pierre Jouffroy who started to restore it. Set back by a fire that ruined the east wing in 1968, the restoration lasted until his death in 2000.

At present Belvoir Castle, still owned by Jouffroy's descendants, can be visited for a fee. A nice castle in an lovely rural area. There is also a nice holiday apartement, situated in the cellars of the east wing of the castle, available for rent on Vrbo.


Gallery