Castle of Montaigne


castle of montaigne

The Castle of Montaigne was the family residence of Michel de Montaigne, one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance. The original castle was built by his grandfather in the 15th century in the middle of a majestic park.
After the death of his father, de Montaigne himself laid out the design and architecture of the castle. In 1584, the future King Henry IV was invited at the chateau. Montaigne became a close friend with the King and was named gentleman of the chamber by a patent letter of 1577.
The castle remained in the family until 1860 when Pierre Magne, minister of Napoleon III, bought it. He had the structure completely rebuilt as a fantasy Gothic Loire valley chateau, with towers and turrets in an entirely different style of the original building. A fire that broke out in 1885 had seriously damaged the castle; it was Magne's daughter who rebuilt the edifice to the same design. Today, Montaigne is still in the hands of the Magne family.
The castle today
The architecture of the castle has a neo-renaissance style. One of the popular locations is the round tower of Montaigne, that remained from the original structure. The tower had housed a library and it is said that Michel de Montaigne composed his famous Essays here.

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Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne, Dordogne department, France
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15th century

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