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Charles-Maurice de TALLEYRAND-PERIGORD
Stipple engraving by VERITE - 1789




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VALENCAY



The following are some views of the Château de Valençay, accompanied by brief descriptions










Aerial view of Valencay castle.
©Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





The Château de Valençay. East side.
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





Valençay, in Indre, main town of the canton that shares its name, is a small, charming town of 3122 inhabitants, nestling around the château. The town is situated 42 kms to the north of the county town of Châteauroux and 55 kms to the south of Blois.

Arriving from Blois through the lovely Gâtine forest, a straight road leads into one of the 2 courtyards at the château, called the " cour des Ronds " (Courtyard of Circles).






Cour des Ronds opposite the Blois road.
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





From Châteauroux, and across the Berry plains, visitors come to a high point, overlooking the Nahon river. Crossing the gently flowing river, they arrive at the towering château, which stands at the top of a hill.






Château tower, east side, view from the rue du Tournebride
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





A feudal castle stood on the site in the 13th C.

Following a marriage, the Chalons-Tonnerre became the owners.

In 1451, Robert II d'Estampes purchased the château. The d'Estampes family remained the owners for nearly another three centuries. During this time, major changes were made to the château.






Château de Valençay, Cour d'honneur side.
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.






In 1509, Louis and his son Jacques d'Estampes razed the ancient feudal manor to the ground. They built, from around 1520/1530, the current château in a Renaissance style, following the plans of an unknown architect. The crediting of the design to Philibert Delorme is in error.

Dominique d'Estampes built the west wing, opposite the grounds, and the east wing, on the Valençay side, in the early 17th C. A wall of arches, enclosing the " cour d'honneur ", links the two wings.

Mademoiselle de Montpensier, also called the " Grande Mademoiselle ", came to Valençay in 1653. She wrote that Valençay is an " enchanting house " in her memoirs.






LA GARENNE, the hunting cottage, built by TALLEYRAND from 1805 to 1807, under the instruction of his architect RENARD.
The Spanish princes stayed there to hunt during their captivity.
Later, the Duchesse de DINO chose it as her location for entertaining and leisure.
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. With the kind permission of Mr Jean LE METAYER. No unauthorised reproduction.





At the end of the 17th C, the d'Estampes family lost their glory. Financial problems forced the widow of Henri Hubert d'Estampes to sell the estate in 1719, to the banker-speculator John Law. This sale was then cancelled due to his bankruptcy.

Finaly, after having passed into the hands of the Chaumont de La Millière family, the farmer-general Charles Legendre de Villemorien became the eventual buyer of the estate in 1766. Shortly afterwards, with the aid of architect Joseph-Abel Couture, he carried out some important modifications: demolition of the east wing and arches, and modifications to the west wing, in particular the building of the Tour Neuve (New Tower).






West side of the Château
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





His son, the Comte Legendre de Luçay, put the finishing touches to his work and sold the château to Talleyrand in May 1803.






Tour Neuve at the Château de Valençay dominating the Nahon valley.
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





" Monsieur de Talleyrand, I want you to purchase a good property, one where you can receive diplomats and other notable foreigners. Guests whom we wish to send to such a place as a reward to the ambassadors of sovereigns that I would like to remain content... " explained the Premier Consul, who contributed a very large part towards the acquisition of the château.






Cour Carrée (Square Court) or Cour de l'Orangerie (Orangery Court),
also called the Jardin Français (French Garden), opposite the keep,main entrance
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.










Snowing at Valençay
©with the kindly authorization of Mr. Serge Gatinel. No unauthorized reproduction.










The keep, main entrance, view of the moats
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





In May 1808, the Spanish Princes, captured at Bayonne, were put in guarded accomodation at the Château de Valençay. They stayed there until March 1814, after the signing of the treaty of Valençay on December 11th 1813. The treaty gave the Spanish throne to Prince Ferdinand, despite the reserves expressed by the Cortès.






Talleyrand-Périgord family coat of arms on the keep
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





It was only in 1816, after eight years of absence, that Talleyrand returned to Valençay. He then came nearly every year for a stay, accompanied by his niece, the duchesse de Dino. On May 17th, 1838, the Prince de Talleyrand died in Paris. On September 5th his remains were interred in a chapel near to the château, following a last hommage by a united people in the funeral cortege.






©Collection Philippe Maillard. Reproduction interdite.





Place Talleyrand. Stone bust taken from the original by Louis Desprez (1799-1870 ou 1872), kept in the Versailles museum.
A previous copy, first displayed in 1938, was destroyed in an attack in February 1945.
(c)Pierre COMBALUZIER. No unauthorised reproduction.





It was his great-nephew, Napoléon-Louis de Talleyrand-Périgord, duc de Valençay, who inherited the estate. With the latter's death, in 1898, his grandson, Boson, succeded him until his own death in 1952. The sole inheritor, and last individual owner, M. Jean Morel, sold the château to an Association Départementale (County Association) on December 15th 1979.

Saved from the Second World War, and in spite of the destruction caused to the village itself on August 16th 1944, the Château de Valençay has kept a large part of the furniture and items with which the prince liked to surround himself.






Old Postcard : Prince Talleyrand's bedroom
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.



Postcard : Prince Talleyrand's bedroom
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.



Old Postcard : Prince Talleyrand's bedroom
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.



Chromo castle of Valençay
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.



Picture SNCF castle of Valençay
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.



Picture of the castle - beginning XXth century
No unauthorised reproduction.



Postcard
No unauthorised reproduction.



Picture SNCF castle of Valençay
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.



Engraving of castle of Valençay
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.



Church of Valençay which was renovated by the prince. Postcard circa 1932
Collection Philippe Maillard. No unauthorised reproduction.





With thanks to Mssrs André BEAU and Philippe Maillard for their valuable advice.










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RETOUR AU CHAPITRE V : REPRESENTATIONS
RETOUR AU CHAPITRE VI : COLLECTION COMBALUZIER
RETOUR AU CHAPITRE VII : DOCUMENTS ET CARTES POSTALES
RETOUR AU CHAPITRE VIII : EVENEMENTS CONTEMPORAINS





(c) EX-LIBRIS created for my collection by Nicholas COZON - Engraver at Burin sur Cuivre
Drawing by Ateliers CAPPELLE of Sannois - Val d'Oise -
With thanks to Hélène NUE




" Quaero, Colligo, Studeo "









Pierre COMBALUZIER - 64000 PAU - FRANCE - 1997
Founding member
of the Association " Les Amis de TALLEYRAND "




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