Asking Price: € 30,000,000 / 34,000,000 USD
Dating back to the 12th century, this picturesque castle has its share of history during the Middle Ages and afterwards.
Montbrun Castle (Château de Montbrun) was built in 1179 by Aymeric Brun. It soon made its first claim to history 20 years later when King Richard the Lionheart was taken to Montbrun after being mortally wounded while besieging another castle. He may have even died at this castle.
The castle would see action during the Hundred Years’ War, with an Anglo-Gascon contingent taking over the keep in the 1340s. They demolished its outer wall and used it as a base to raid the region. The French were able to retake the Montbrun in 1353, but in 1385 the English returned and destroyed the castle with fire. It remained a ruin until 1433 when Pierre de Montbrun, Bishop of Limoges, began its reconstruction. After five years it was restored, with the main 12th-century tower still standing, while other square towers were replaced with round towers.
The castle remained in the hands of the Brun family until the early 16th century. Afterwards, Montbrun would be besieged by Protestants during the Wars of Religion, and then again in the French Revolution. In the latter case, the peasants were able to capture it and set fire to its interior.
The castle would be restored again in 1871, then seriously damaged in a fire in 1917. Another restoration was carried out in the 1960s, and today the site is a protected monument historique listed by the French government.
The historian Richard Barber describes Montbrun as “half-surrounded by a moat which could not have been designed to better visual effect. It lies in a hollow ringed beyond the moat by trees; an apparently indefensible position from a military point of view, but all the more intimate and domestic for that.”
The main keep is 35 metres tall and has eight storeys. The other four round towers date from the 15th century. Inside the castle has 3500 square metres (38000 sq ft) of space, including 16 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. There is also a great hall that can seat up to 200 people, a cinema, a two-storey library, three kitchens and a chapel.
The property comes with 165 hectares of land that includes several smaller buildings. The current owners have made Montbrun a local tourist attraction – it is open for guided tours in the summer months, and people can also stay in rooms like a hotel, while the castle itself can be rented out for weddings or corporate events. Check out their website.
Montbrun Castle is located just outside the village of Dournazac in southeastern France. To learn more information, please visit Sifex: Châteaux and Fine Properties
Top Image: Photo by Guillaume COMMIN / Flickr