Castle of La Palice★★★☆☆
The Castle of La Palice has been inhabited by the same family since 1430. It is an elegant chateau with an imposing Renaissance facade that stands majestically over the Besbre Valley and the town of Lapalisse.
The castle was built and has always belonged to the Chabannes family, a noble French family with a prestigious pedigree of ancestors leading all the way to the Merovingian sovereigns. Constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries, the medieval part of the castle was finally finished by Jacques I de Chabannes in 1430.
A Gothic style chapel was added in 1470. The chapel was connected to the original feudal fortress by a curtain wall. At the beginning of the 16th century, Jacques II, marshal of France and the grandson of Jacques I, replaced the wall with a beautiful Renaissance wing built out of pink brick and with superb interior decorations.
The castle today
The castle is privately owned by a member of the Chabannes family but it is opened to the public. Visitors can admire (from left to right) the Gothic chapel with a crypt containing the tombs of the Chabannes (including a beautiful tomb carved with the effigy of Jacques I and his wife), the rose-colored brick Renaissance wing and the medieval part of the castle, with towers and curtains.
Inside, the castle is fully furnished and contains a collection of historic memorabilia including magnificent old tapestries, a library as well as other historical artefacts. The golden drawing room houses the only Italian Renaissance-style coffered ceilings in Europe, with raised colorful box beams inlaid with gold. A beautiful park, with hundred-year-old trees offer visitors a pleasant way to round off the tour.
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