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Montbard Castle

Château de Montbard

Montbard Castle, locally known as Château de Montbard, lies in the town of the same name in the Côte-d'Or department in France.

A first mention of Montbard Castle appears in the 10th century. By then the castle, situated on a rocky mound, would have been built out of wood. Bernard I would be the first Count of Montbard between 1040 and 1103. Bernard was the father of André de Montbard, one of the founders of the Knights Templar.

In 1189 the Lords of Montbard exchanged their family castle for Époisses Castle, with Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy. The Dukes of Burgundy transformed the castle into a real fortress during the 13th century; surrounding it with a rampart and building several defensive towers. The high polygonal keep, now called the "Aubespin Tower", was built in 1329.

During the 15th century the Dukes of Burgundy frequently stayed at Montbard Castle. In 1423, Anne of Burgundy, daughter of John the Fearless, was married by proxy with John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, in the castle chapel. In 1477, after the death of Duke Charles the Bold, the fiefdom of Montbard passed to the French King; Louis XI. After that the French Crown entrusted the management of Montbard to several subsequent families.

Although King Louis XIV decided to keep the castle for his personal use in 1682, it was described as being abandoned and partially ruined at the beginning of the 18th century.

In 1733 Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, a French naturalist and mathematician born in Montbard, managed to obtain authorization from King Louis XV of France to manage the disused castle. Buffon then completely modified the site to give it its present appearance. Among other things he lowered the ramparts and filled in the interior of the rampart with a mixture of earth and stones from the castle ruin to create an equal ground level on the site. Only 2 towers remained; the keep and the, lowered, "Saint-Louis Tower" which he started to use as his library.

By 1870 the site, once again abandoned, was bought by the municipality who finally turned it into a public park.

At present Montbard Castle is the site of the Buffon Park. I don't know if the interior of the remaining 2 towers can ever be visited. I suppose there is a great view from the high keep.


Gallery

previousnext

Montbard Castle

Château de Montbard

Montbard Castle, locally known as Château de Montbard, lies in the town of the same name in the Côte-d'Or department in France.

A first mention of Montbard Castle appears in the 10th century. By then the castle, situated on a rocky mound, would have been built out of wood. Bernard I would be the first Count of Montbard between 1040 and 1103. Bernard was the father of André de Montbard, one of the founders of the Knights Templar.

In 1189 the Lords of Montbard exchanged their family castle for Époisses Castle, with Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy. The Dukes of Burgundy transformed the castle into a real fortress during the 13th century; surrounding it with a rampart and building several defensive towers. The high polygonal keep, now called the "Aubespin Tower", was built in 1329.

During the 15th century the Dukes of Burgundy frequently stayed at Montbard Castle. In 1423, Anne of Burgundy, daughter of John the Fearless, was married by proxy with John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, in the castle chapel. In 1477, after the death of Duke Charles the Bold, the fiefdom of Montbard passed to the French King; Louis XI. After that the French Crown entrusted the management of Montbard to several subsequent families.

Although King Louis XIV decided to keep the castle for his personal use in 1682, it was described as being abandoned and partially ruined at the beginning of the 18th century.

In 1733 Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, a French naturalist and mathematician born in Montbard, managed to obtain authorization from King Louis XV of France to manage the disused castle. Buffon then completely modified the site to give it its present appearance. Among other things he lowered the ramparts and filled in the interior of the rampart with a mixture of earth and stones from the castle ruin to create an equal ground level on the site. Only 2 towers remained; the keep and the, lowered, "Saint-Louis Tower" which he started to use as his library.

By 1870 the site, once again abandoned, was bought by the municipality who finally turned it into a public park.

At present Montbard Castle is the site of the Buffon Park. I don't know if the interior of the remaining 2 towers can ever be visited. I suppose there is a great view from the high keep.


Gallery