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Château de Cormatin - from the aviary with the boxwood maze | by ell brown
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Château de Cormatin - from the aviary with the boxwood maze

After the guided tour of Château de Cormatin, I had a look all the way around the moat, all sides of the Château exterior.



In 1280, Henry du Blé built a fortress on the bank of the river Grosne, to control the road leading to the abbey of Cluny.

This medieval fortress disappeared after 1606 when Antoine du Blé began building a chateau, in order to demonstrate his success at the end of the wars of religion.

It retained the medieval base, used for foundations but also to keep track of the ancestral home and attest the antiquity of his family.


Three residential wings are arranged in a horseshoe, completed on the outer corners by four large projecting defensive pavilions. The fourth side was a rampart to first floor level, with a monumental entrance and drawbridge.

The exterior facades, of military severity, were inspired by the citadel in Chalon, of which Antoine du Blé had been appointed Governor by Henri IV.

The quadrangle has been altered over the ages: the rampart was eliminated at the end of the seventeenth century, as a sign of allegiance to Louis XIV, the west wing was lowered after a fire in 1812 and the south wing collapsed in 1815 during its conversion into a textile factory.

Luckily, the north wing remains intact. It was the last to be built by Jacques du Blé (1620-1626 approx.) As an intimate of Marie de Medicis, he was inspired by the Luxembourg Palace, built at the same time for the queen.



Château de Cormatin


The castle of Cormatin is located on the commune of Cormatin in Saone-et-Loire , in an island of the Grosne river. Built at the beginning of the 17th century , it retains original details rare as its staircase and the decoration of certain rooms. The castle is listed as a historic monument in 1862 and 2003 and various parts of the park are registered in 1995.


Only the main body of the main house and a wing are placed in the back of the square. On its three external corners, the whole is flanked by pavilions half-off work themselves flanked on their inner corners of overhanging turrets without defensive value. The principal house opens on the courtyard by a door inscribed in a Doric span crowned with an edicule that surmounts a pediment framing a decapitated bust. It is reached by a staircase of five steps. In the center of its western façade, this main building comprises a fore-span of a span. The wing in return of angle square opens on the courtyard by a door inscribed between two ionic pilasters.


In the middle of the north wing, the staircase with empty cage is the oldest of this type preserved in France. On the ground floor, the rooms (apartments of the Marquise d'Uxelles in particular) have retained their carved wooden chimneys, their paneling framing leather panels of Cordoba , their gently painted French ceilings , their furniture, their paintings Attributed to Claude Glee, Lesueur , Mignard , Nattier , Rigaud , Van de Velde and Velasquez . One of the oldest ceilings is that of "the sky" of the cabinet of curiosities; The lapis-lazuli and the gilding of the Sainte-Cécile cabinet facilitate the reflection of candles and thus the reading.


The estate includes a park of twelve hectares with flowerbeds, a large labyrinth of boxwood and an old kitchen garden. An ordered garden existed as early as 1620 , at the time of the construction of the present castle. Simplified at the beginning of the 18th century , landscaped around 1785 with planting of trees brought back from America by Pierre Desoteux after the War of Independence (tulip trees, bald cypresses, etc.). The garden was destroyed around 1815 to find the land needed to fill the moat. It was recreated from 1990 onwards after the land was rebuilt.


The castle was listed as a listed monument in 1862 and then by decree on February 2, 1903. Part of the gardens, moat, median , canal and water mirror, as well as the fence wall were Listed as a historic monument on January 19, 1995. It is a private property that is open to the public. It is accessible via line 7 of the Buscéphale network (the departmental coaches of Saône-et-Loire)



The view from the aviary (built in 1990) with the boxwood maze

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Taken on June 5, 2017