Château de Carrouges

The castle of Carrouges hides at the bottom of a small valley, on the edge of beautiful meadows which replace a pond desiccates, in the shade of old trees less old than him. A hill high opposite, covered closely greens, with yellowing harvests and pink heathers, wood couronnee bulky: charming prospect in summer. The road of Alencon passes has a certain distance.

One sees by far only the roofs of the castle yellowed by time, and a drill of slim chimneys. With a cross year-top of the landscape, it would be a monastery; with a cross and a little noise, it would be a city. One approaches, and one sees a castle!

At the entry, a charming house, entirely separated from the large building is. It is cross-section and flanks with the angles of four turrets has pointed roofs; the windows of the last stage are decorated slim and flowered pediments; on some, one sees the escutcheon of the cardinal Jean Leveneur who built this house.

The aspect of the castle of Carrouges is sad. It is an enormous mass of buildings lay out in cross-section, borers of openings of all the forms and all the sizes, caps of pointed roofs, which cut out the ones on the others in odd triangles. Neither elegance, nor regularity; few details of architecture, but a curious and original diversity, an imposing and severe unit. It is certain historic buildings like certain periods of the history itself. One can see well only as a whole. Remotely, the disparate lines, the seemingly contradictory facts are harmonized in a kind of vague, but real unit. The eye by embracing a greater wall extent, the thought a longer succession of events, seize the secrecies reports/ratios best of them. The most dissonant parts then seem to be called, be connected, be generated one the other; the most various elements link by meeting in only one all, by melting itself in a single and alive body.

Carrouges has its own aspect and its beauty. It is not the fortress of the Middle Ages, being drawn up as the spectrum of the war on a rock insulates and naked; even less rebirth covering its castles like a mistress adoree, brushes, flowers, laces of stone. Its character is at the same time civil and warlike. Feudality built it, when it felt enough frightening to go down from the heights in the plain (the primitive castle of Carrouges was on the height or is situee the borough, with the place the same or high current presbytery). It was strengthened there initially. Various constructions do not tarderent has to shelter in the shade of the keep. As the dangers of the war diminuerent, and that the richnesses and the power of the lords of Carrouges are augmenterent, these constructions acquired more development. They ended up invading and replacing the same fortifications they. The luxury had its turn: It engraved, historier, painted, gilded certain parts of the castle. Outside, it embroidered on the doors of elegant sculptures; it lengthened the long chimneys; it grooved them like ancient columns; it decorated the windows of pediments and singular framings. Inside, it covered the old beams and the beams enfumees, of skirting; skirtings, of compartments: compartments, of paintings and gildings. The gold bazane hangings cacherent the nudity of the walls. The holy Virgins, the robust satyrs, the shepherdesses with the mouth in heart, the blouse out of basket, succederent themselves on the ceilings, above the chimneys and the doors. This fled profusion of cartridges, rosettes, arabesques, flowers. The richness of furniture answered has that of the apartments, and the Lamartiniere old man, while speaking about Carrouges, more than one century ago, could say with truth: Large and splendid castle personal property and decorates of force paintings and gildings.

This noble residence had hosts worthy of it. It was habitee by famous families, wise prelates, large lords, valiant captains was born to with it, lived there, died there. The ones laisserent a room of weapons to him, the others a room of comedy; those their armour glorieusement fracassee has Azincourt, these the peaceful stick of their escutcheon; a whole a date, a name, a portrait; a whole a trace of their stay or their passage.

Such is thus Carrouges: confused accumulation of buildings and memories, or each century and each lord have their share; last word of some of these powerful families, in whom seemed to personify the richness, the courage and the glory of France; beautiful castle, beautiful book which remains still whole, in the middle of all those which has stone in their pits desiccate, and sheet feeder falls stone in the lapse of memory.

The main door looks at laying down it. It is surmontee of a triangular pediment, and flanquee of pilasters, in the cold and dry style of Louis XIII. Formerly a drawbridge led in the castle. The cabinet of the guard still exists; but more vigilant guard, more chains grincantes, more water murmuring in the pits. Those were desiccate in 1778, at the same time as the large pond which fed them. A stone bridge, has three arches, has replaces the drawbridge.

On the right commun runs are strengthen. Bakery contained four furnaces. Only one is remainder. Of this part, a narrow corridor, spares in the thickness of the walls and passing under the pits, was to lead in the countryside. Traces of similar undergrounds meet around almost all our old castles. They are as mysterious in the history as in the novels. Or knows neither the origin of it, nor the destination; only fantastic debris unimportant and traditions are found there. Nothing stopped them, they was inserted under the rivers, dug the rocks, bored the mountains! The genius of the war and cruelty thus prepared the way with the modern wonders of industry and science.

The keep is other dimension of the main door. It is a square and crenelated tower which is not hardly but fifteen bills of quantities height under the roof. Another smaller high dimension is had. Inside, one saw two rooms of weapons, communicating together by a passage bores loopholes. A well was place in the embrasure of the one of the windows of the big room. She had approximately nine bills of quantities out of twelve.

All this part of the castle must go back to the XIV E century. It was already for the aristocracy of the lance and the sword one time of decline. Its constructions felt some. They did not have any more this great character which had them distinguees during the previous centuries, and whose keeps of much of Norman castles still offer the trace.

The chartrier, more modern, is place close to the keep, but inside the court. One entered there by a pretty small door decorated with compartments and pilasters cinnamons of the style of the rebirth! Logical bringing together.

The dimension of the north which comes to rest on the keep is also extremely old. Outside, shovel-Miss of windows which open and tighten, of roofs which go up and go down, of angles which leave and which return in the oddest way, the whole finishes with raising by a gracious turret. It misses there a vault built between the castle and the edge of the pit, and destroyed a few years ago. Inside one finds initially, in the part closest to the keep, a beautiful room of the guards with simple and severe ogival door, and of the beams sculptees carefully; then vast kitchen and its dependences; then a splendid staircase. The slopes are laid out in cross-section, and present by it, instead of balustrades with height of support, high brick columns which go up to the higher slope. The effect is singular and imposing.

The two other frontages, those of raising and midday, are less old and more regular. It is not that they are of a pure or same style uniform. Their aspect cold and is deprived of elegance. Badly made connections and abrupt changes in the construction industry prove that they were built has various times and on various plans; but, bring closer to the remainder of the castle, they give him and receive a certain size from it. Broad square windows, surmontees of smaller ovals, cornices extremely simple, the mixture of brick and stone of size, indicate the time of Henri IV or Louis XIII.

The commun runs and a beautiful staircase fill the rez-dechaussee of these two dimensions.

The same irregularity which is offered outside the castle, meets in the distribution of the stages. The number of these stages varies with the height of the parts and that of the buildings.

Useless to describe in detail the various apartments; the number in is very considerable. Almost all were restore in the XVIII E century. Much is spoil by partitions and corridors; those of the most modern part miss rise.

Among these apartments, one distinguishes a vast dining room, has high and deep chimney, out of marble and admirably polished blue granite; a theatre or were jouees before the revolution part of the parts of the old repertory; a living room of summer, painted on fabric, to the XVIII E century. Pink clouds like the cheeks of Mrs. de Pompadour; trees powders like its beautiful hair; similar flowers has those which furnished its dresses with damask silk; vain landscapes to which only vain shepherdesses etc nature of boudoir also fraiche misses, as laughing as the nature of the fields!

A different interest sticks to the room which Louis XI occupied. It was in August 1473. The king, having made stop the duke of Alencon because of his intrigues with the English and the Burgundian ones, had come to take possession of his duchy in person. Great festivals were celebrees on this occasion. On Monday August 9, at the time or it returned of the park in the castle of Alencou, a large stone fell so close to him that it tore the sleeve of its dress of street pedlar color of leather. At once it made the sign of the cross, was thrown has knees, kissed the ground, collected this stone and made wish carry it to the Mount-Saint-Michel, like her dress dechiree, in testimony of pious recognition. The inhabitants of the city were in great fright. They trembled that this accident was not converted into a plot against the life of the king and that they did not carry the sorrow from there. Fortunately the truth was discovered soon. A page was goes up with its mistress on the wall of the castle, to see the entry of the king. This one while running hung a stone with the bottom of its dress and made it fall. Louis showed himself just and almost lenient this time. The culprits were free the ones say for three days of prison, the others for a time much longer. It is while going to the Mount-Saint-Michel to achieve his wish, that the king stopped with the castle of Carrouges. The room or it slept has more remarkable only its vast chimney and its woodworks dorees. It is also said that Marie de Medicis occupied this room in a voyage have Normandy, from which we are unaware of the exact date.

It east can be has this voyage of Louis XI who should be attached a large rather strange embroidery conservee in the interior vault of the castle. In the medium, on a white silk bottom, a Deposition, silk and money, gold wire executee; with the entour, the collar of Saint-Michel, established order as one knows by Louis XI. With bottom a large natural shell is; in the field and in lower part of each medallion, there was a cartouche containing a disappeared inscription or a subject.

Source: Mosaic of the West and the center by Emile Souvestre 1844.

Castle of Carrouges
(Castle of Carrouges, carrouges)

Heritage listed, historical monument, or having been under investigation

Structural information

Castle of Carrouges, Patrimoine classé ou inscrit dit 'Château de Carrouges' à carrouges (orne 61320). Le château de Carrouges se cache au fond d'un vallon, sur la lisière de belles prairies qui remplacent un étang desséché, à l'ombre de vieux arbres moins vieux que lui. carrouges, orne

Location and general information

  • identifier : 100179
  • item : Château de Carrouges
  • Location of the building :
    • Basse-Normandie
    • Carrouges
  • INSEE code of the municipality : 61074
  • Zip code of the municipality : 61320
  • Order in the communal list : 2
  • Name of the building :
    • The building is designated as follows : castle
  • State :
    • the current state of the monument is not known.

Dates and times

  • Period of construction : 2 different epochs of evolution of the building.
    • 15th century
    • 18th century
  • Record Type : site inscrit
  • Date of protection : 1927/12/06 : classé MH
  • Date taken into account : 1993/11/22

Construction, architecture and style

  • Materials:
    • We do not have this information.
  • Roofing :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Materials (roofing) :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Other about the composition roofs :
    • No information on the coverage of the place.
  • Floors :
    • any information about this construction.
  • Stairs :
    • No stairs mentioned on this construction.
  • Decoration of the building :
    • No information about decoration.
  • Representation :
    • No information on the ornamentation of the place.
  • Typology :
    • No information about typology.
  • Plan :
    • We do not know the type of plan for this building.

Monument and history of the place

  • Interest of the building : Site inscrit 28 04 1934 (arrêté).
  • Elements protected MH (historical monument) :11 parts of the building are subject to protection and are listed as follows :
    • closing
    • grid
    • garden
    • door
    • terrace
    • park
    • moat
    • colonnade
    • port
    • stave
    • ARC
  • Constituent areas :
    • no information.
  • Parties constituantes étudiées :
    • no information.
  • Use :
    • We do not know the different uses that have been made of this construction.


  • Other :
    • other Information : the 1992 State property
  • Picture : 44f5d35820569c6a1352aa7cc7bbeee5.jpg
  • Details : Château, douves, terrasse, porte d' entrée, colonnade, parc et jardins avec leurs portes et grilles anciennes : classement par arrêté du 6 décembre 1927
  • Mérimée reference : PA00110758

Contributions documentaries made by visitors

Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Contact contributor with his mail for more information.

Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges
Château de Carrouges. Picture of gérald krafft
Château de Carrouges, carrouges

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