Château de Carrouges: a Château made from Bricks!
A Brief History of the Château de Carrouges
Carrouges Castle began life as a fortified stronghold (donjon = keep) during the Hundred Years’ War – the keep is seen in the corner of the inner courtyard.
It became a lordly residence in the 15th century for the Blosset family and was extended with the addition of a residential wing next to the keep. In the 16th century the wonderful gatehouse was added, like a château in miniature – this is considered to be the earliest piece of Renaissance architecture in Normandy. Carrouges was refortified during the Wars of Religion with the construction of the west bastion, and finally in the late 16th century two ‘classical’ wings with remarkable staircases were added – see the video for a view of the interior.
The Blosset/de Tillier family owned the château and estate from the end of the 15th century until 1936, when the chateau and much of the furniture was purchased by the State as a historic monument.
A Brief Video of Château de Carrouges
Why Make A Château out of Bricks?
One of the most distinctive features of the Château de Carrouges is the fact that it is largely made of brick.
Brick was chosen to build Carrouges in the 14th century due to the presence of local clay as a raw material and forests all around as a source of fuel for firing the bricks. Far more than just a simple building material, the variations in colour, shape and pattern allowed brick to be used decoratively. At Carrouges, the16th century parts of the castle made full use of this versatility to decorate the facades.
Maison du Parc Normandie Maine
Halfway down the driveway to the château is the Maison du Parc Normandie Maine - this is well worth a visit not only because it has a wealth of information and displays on the regional Parc Normandie-Maine, but also a superb gift shop with all kinds of local produce.
Château de Carrouges
Guided visits of the interior are in French and English and take 45 minutes – last visit 45 minutes before closing.
Open daily from 10h to 12h and 14h to 18h
Closed only on January 1, May 1, November 1, November 11 and December 25
2010 guided tour fee: 7€ for adults, under 18′s free
Maison du Parc Normandie-Maine
May to September Tuesday to Sunday 10h30 to 18h30
Rest of the year Tuesday to Friday 10h to 12h and 14h to 17h
Free entry to the exhibition halls and shop
Access: (route shown is from our B&B on the border of Normandy and Pays de la Loire).