пятница, 7 октября 2011 г.

Château de Grignan

 Château de Grignan ,  department  Drôme.

Practically nothing is know about the date of foundation of the castele nor about its builders. It is mentioned for the first time in the St. Chaffre abbey records in Haute-Loire in 1035.
Since 1239 it becomes the property of the Adhèmart de Monteil . In that same XIII century Adhèmart de Grignan fortified the castle. The castle grew and expanded as the family prestige of Adhèmart grew in Grignan.
  Between 1478 and 1495 Gauchet Adhèmart, while serving Luis XI, doubles the width of rooms, adds new living quarters and remodels the facade of the medieval castle. In 1495 Gauchet Adhèmart begins the construction of the grand Adhèmart gallery, the completion of which he did not live to see. The work was completed after his death, in 1516

Gauchet's son, Luis Adhèmart was king Francis I ambassador to Rome in 1538, then in 1541 the lieutenant-general in Provance. In 1533 the chateau is visited by the Katherine de Medici.
Luis Adhèmart dies without leaving a heir in 1558. His will leaving the chateau to the Marquis de Guise was annulled and the chateau and the title reverted to his sisten Blanche married to Gaspard de Castellane, baron d'Entrecasteaux.
 As the result, the heir turned out to be Luis Adhèmart's nephew,  Gaspard de Castellane who adopted the name of Adhèmart de Montei.
  The great grandson (if I'm not mistaken) of  Gaspard de Castellane, the last Marquis Grignan,  François de Castellane-Adhémar de Monteil, having widowed twice, for the third time chose to marry the first beauty of France Françoise-Marguerite de Sévigné

daughter of the Marquis Henri de Sevigne, and Marie-Chantal de Rabyuten, the Marquise de Sevigne (Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné).
Marquise de Sévigné, having widowed early totally devoted herself to raising her children. She was acutely suffering the separation from her daughter, who went to live with her husband in Grignan, and over nearly thirty years maintained an active correspondence with her (three-four letters a week). These letters, published by the grand daughter of Madame de Sévigné, Pauline Semian are distinguished by the superb literary style and contain extremely detailed account of the everyday life, customs and norms of the time and are considered the most renowned (epistles) example of fine letter writing of the French literature.
 Madame de Sévigné was very fond of the Chateau Grignan, and wrote about it to other of her correspondents. She passed here the last two year of her life, and here she died on 17 of April 1696 and was buried in the church Saint-Sauveur. 
 In 1793, during the French Revolution, the chateau was destroyed and the furniture sold off. Subsequent chateau owners tried to restore it but for different reasons met no success. Eventually, in 1912 the ruined chateau were acquired by Marie Fontaine, the neighbour of Boniface de Castellane, one of the former owners of the chateau, a great history of art buff and a fan of the  here letters. She spent all of her savings on chateau reconstruction, furniture and paintings of the period (possessed people do exist!). In 1979 chateau was sold to the General Committee of the Drôme departmen

                             Saints Wing (unrestored part of the chateau)

Inner court 


Stupendous view of the surrundings

Bell tower 

Chateu's interiors 

Madame de Sévigné memorial
Cosy Grignan lanes 



These days chateau hosts theatre and literary soirees, concerts, jazz festivals and theatrical plays. On warm summer nights mascarades recreate the atmosphere of 17th century, and each June takes place Festival de la Correspondance, with street plays, concerts, exhibitions and amny other interesting events. Tables are set out with piles of writing paper, pens and envelopes, so that anyone can write a letter to friend, relatives and even to complete strangers, or even to descendents. 

 Additional details can be foundя here and here
official site - information about concerts and festivals

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