Castle of Villemont
History of the castle
Villemont, in Auvergne, was in the beginning a modest field qualified at the beginning of the 16th century of “house, mound, ditch, low court of Villemont”. It depended on the county of Montpensier belonging then to the Constable of Bourbon and was confiscated by which then made pay to the Constable the price of his treason. Fallen in Michel de Veyny, nephew of the chancellor Duprat, it remained in the same family (descent by the women) until his sale in 1958, a little before the fire which destroyed it.
The first important construction is thus the work of Michel de Veyny: it is then a building in L, flanked on its frontage, directed in the South, of two capped towers of conical roofs. In the South always, there are gardens with the Frenchwoman while in North leave the star rides. It is about a richly furnished house (tapestries, fourposter beds, objects of Orfèvrerie, decorations out of leather gilded) which accepted, in 1566, the visit of the king Charles IX accompanied by its mother, the queen Catherine de Médicis and of the chancellor Michel of Hospital.
Veyny, owners of Villemont, thrive throughout the 17th century , illustrate themselves in the armies, the Church and are made provide with wire father for the load of baillif of the old county become duchy of Montpensier. The seigneurery of Villemont is set up in marquisat, in 1720 by the regent. In 1740, it belongs to Gilbert de Veyny “Mestre de Cavalerie” and manufacturer of the current castle whose legend wants that in disgrace of the court of Louis XV he would have made build the immense unit that one knows today to place his regiment there.
According to the method recommended at the time by the architect Philibert Delorme to extend and regularize a medieval building, it makes increase the Southern frontage. The large body of home, removed from its Western tower, demolished, is lengthened and another tower identical to that preserved at the East is built at the end. A Western wing is built, with the back, identical of the wing Is existing. The commun runs, imposing, were then carried out with a horseshoe scheduling locking up a large main courtyard. Avenues bordered of four rows of walnut trees are traced out of star around the castle. The neighbouring marshes are cleansed by channels.
The Revolution and the beginning of the 19th century correspond to one period of decline during which the heirs to Gilbert de Veyny tear in a successional lawsuit which finishes only in 1846. During all this time, badly maintained, the castle is degraded.
It is only in second half of the 19th century that is committed a very important restoration: to this time all the decorations in stucco go back (framing of windows and doors, ailerons of attic windows, balustrades of balconies, planks in reliefs surlignant the arcs, medallions and busts of the frontage, etc).
It is as at this time as the roofs of the turns are remade with the medieval mode: in pepper plantation, while, the construction of the 18th century had more elegantly carried them out in the shape of domes with lantern. After the decline of the decades post-revolutionists and the recovery then the splendor of the XIXe century, came one second period, if it is not of renunciation, at least from minimum maintenance since Henri Pourrat writes with the beginning of the year 1958 in the work which it devoted to the castles in Auvergne: “One would need 4 frank million today to prevent the roofs of Villemont from collapsing. ”
The castle was sold at the end of the month of May 1958 by its last owner, downward heiress direct of Veyny.
One month later in the night from July 3rd to 4th, it burned of all shares. Nearly forty years after it sank in a state of ruin advanced before reappearing thanks to a rescue in extremis.
Begun again in 1995, with the state of ruins, it is today the object of an important project of restoration. A foundation of company (FE) must carry this project which is in the course of constitution: it is necessary to underline this very innovative aspect because it is one of the first foundations to be created, in France, for the safeguard of an element of architectural heritage, since the reform brought by the " Law Aillagon on the mécénat" of August 1st, 2003 (for more information to see the article: " Foundation (institution) ". Because the existing foundations in this field all are recognized of public utility (RUP) or are lodged by the Fondation of France.
- Castle of Villemont - Official site
- Page of the castle of Villemont on the site " Passion of châteaux"
- Page of the castle of Villemont on the site " Casteland"
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