to discover the castle of Bussy-Rabutin

Eighteen French sites will be renovated thanks to a special scratch game launched in September. Among the beneficiaries, this castle of the sixteenth century, where lived the nephew of the Marquise de Sevigne.

The history of the castle of Bussy-Rabutin is the mirror of the tumultuous life of a lieutenant-general of the royal armies of Louis XIV, born in 1618, the count Roger de Bussy-Rabutin takes over the head of a regiment that is already his commanded father. Accustomed to salons, he often visited them in the company of his nephew, the Marquis de Sevigne.

His spicy spirit allowed him to be elected to the French Academy in 1665, but also put him in the heart of a court scandal. The year of his admission to the Cenacle, sought by Richelieu, he wrote a little controversial work, The love story of the Gaulswho depicted the brave ways of the nobility. This pamphlet irritated the royal gesture, Louis XIV decorated it. Freed but dishonored, he will be sentenced to a gentle exile in his famous castle in Bussy-le-Grand in Burgundy.

A fresco of the history of France

"Bussy is magnificently built and the inside is of a unique beauty that you will not encounter anywhere else."

Roger de Bussy-Rabutin, Correspondances

It will be the count who will build the beautiful castle of Bussy-Rabutin, located in Côte-d & # 39; Or. Built in the twelfth century, the building was modified in the fourteenth and then rebuilt under Henry II and Louis XIII. The castle is the place of coexistence of different eras: a XVII façade, a Louis XIII ground floor and floors designed in the manner of the seventeenth century. In the large courtyard, the weathered eye also recognizes the typical surroundings of the French Renaissance.

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It will be understood, the most famous owner will remain the count of Bussy-Rabutin, who will decorate it with a

Portraits of ladies in the chamber of the count.

Portraits of ladies in the chamber of the count. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

rich and original interior decoration. History lovers are looking forward to this place that houses a multitude of portraits of French nobility and engravings that testify to the richness of our history. The interior is rich in a gallery of the kings of France and the dukes of Burgundy, an antechamber of Men of War (65 portraits!), About twenty-five paintings of ladies from the court of the Sun King in the room of Bussy, images of various castles and royal residences in the money room or a lounge in the Golden Tower, whose ceiling is a true work of art. The whole is happily traveled like a Malet and Isaac.

The building was saved from destruction in the 1830s by the Count of Sarcus, who is carrying out his redevelopment. It gets its classification as historical monuments in 1862. The building was purchased by the state in 1929, and has been the subject of several restoration campaigns since the 1970s. The castle receives the label "House of Illustres", created in 2011.

A remarkable garden

The garden is also beautiful. He has the label "Jardin remarquable". In the 1990s it was restored to regain the splendor of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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During a pleasant walk the visitor will discover water features, a labyrinth, green cabinets, all decorated with images of mythological characters. The garden is also a lively place because it houses an apiary, a dovecote and coolers, but also an orchard and a vegetable garden, where you can grow old varieties of vegetables. More than a historical monument, the castle of Bussy-Rabutin perpetuates traditions and makes history alive.

A bassinet crown in the middle of the garden.

A bassinet crown in the middle of the garden. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

The essential works of the wing "Sarcus"

Today we can distinguish a main body of home and two wings in the castle. In the west, the parts "Roger de Rabutin" were restored in the nineteenth century. In the east there is the wing "Sarcus", whose dilapidated aspect makes it partially inaccessible to the public. The work that needs to be done is considerable, the renovations cover almost half of the castle. Especially the ground floor is in a deplorable state: after an invasion of xylophagous insects, the floor had to be torn off. The walls are also damaged, due to the proximity of the canals. The work will therefore mainly consist of reinforcing the floors and cleaning masonry.

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An extensive cultural mediation

In Bussy-Rabutin it will be a matter of appreciating all noble or less noble corners of the castle: the rooms of service and some abandoned apartments. After the restoration, all rooms are redecorated, taking into account the incredible history of this place. This masterpiece thanks to the Heritage Lotto will soon no longer be in danger.

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