Le Château de Beaugency
Discover the Château
Discovering the château.
The Château de Beaugency is composed of a manor house and several wings that form the outbuildings.
The complex forms a large rectangle with a courtyard at the centre. The plot is bordered to the east by a huge supporting wall, on top of which lies an intimate garden. There is also a garden to the south between the Chapel of Saint George and the Abbey Church of Notre-Dame.
The listed part is a high building structured over three levels, with an attic. The registered part, the outbuildings, is composed of two large wings over three levels and a recent, two-level structure.
The château has four towers: the square Longueville Tower on Place Dunois, a round tower which rises to the north of the plot, and which cannot be seen from the garden, a hexagonal tower which houses a spiral staircase and finally a round tower crowned by a hexagonal chamber in the garden which holds little ‘private rooms’ and an oratory.
To access the different levels of the château, visitors must take the spiral staircase on the east side of the courtyard. This staircase serves the first floor, the second floor and the attic. The attic, which resembles a vessel or an inverted ship’s hull, is formed of a series of small trusses. Some of the trusses date from winter 1453.
The 3 levels of the château are currently composed of large rooms. Originally, they were divided into smaller rooms by wooden walls. These small rooms could be heated more easily than a large chamber. You will note that the joists of these rooms that make up the ceilings are mostly exquisitely crafted. These rooms also contain beautiful fireplaces decorated with floral and animal motifs. All the floors in the manor house are covered with so-called ‘tomette’ floor tiles. At the time of construction of the château, ‘tomettes’ were the equivalent of the floor tiles of today. They made it possible to cover large surfaces with standard sections of terracotta tiles. The walls are covered with lime-based plaster, which gives them that creamy white colour.
The Château de Beaugency has a chapel. Though deconsecrated now, it was not that long ago that it formed an integral part of life at the château, with services celebrated, especially for the occupants of the beggars’ asylum.
The Chateau De Beaugency has been restored numerous times and maintained by various owners to ensure it could be passed on to future generations. In particular, the Department has invested a good deal of money in reinforcing the floors; you may thus have noticed the floor-level IPN beams that cross each floor of the château.
Despite the numerous conversions that the Chateau De Beaugency underwent last century, it has preserved the spirit of the Renaissance, the period when it was built.
The mullions on the windows, the timber frames of the staircase in the Longueville Tower, the joists used to create the lovely French-style ceilings, the ‘tomettes’ tiles which can be found on every floor, the spiral staircase, the early 16th-century fresco, the 13th-century Saint George Chapel, the numerous 16th-century doors which still proudly sport their Carvet mouldings, the reconstruction of the original stained glass windows on the windows of the listed part, the stunning 15th-century roof, the Renaissance façade which can be admired from the hanging garden, all bear witness to its period and show how the château has survived through the years despite the occasionally destructive events it has experienced and in spite of the various ways in which it has been used.