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Chateau de Montresor

Chateau Montresor looking over the Indrois river

Chateau de Montresor as you see it today is one of our favourite chateaux, not as grand as some but one of the few with that 'lived in' feel.

At the start of the 11th century, Foulques Nerra who was responsible for many of the medieval fortresses of the Loire Valley, had one built on top of a rocky promontory overlooking the Indrois Valley as a defence against potential invaders.  A double enclosure wall surrounding the keep is still apparent. The massive corner towers and the 12th century gate towers remain impressive because of their powerful feudal architecture designed for defensive purposes.

Montresor chateau overlooking the village

The chateau passed into the hands of the Bastarnay family in 1493. They had a fine residence built within the fortress walls and also founded the collegiate church.It became a charming peacetime residence surrounded by the original feudal defence system.

view of Montresor chateau from the main street of the village

 Over time it past into the ownership of the Beauvilliers family where it remained for over a century until 1831.

Interior of the chateau at Montresor in the Loire Valley

In 1849, Xavier Branicki,a Polish count who had developed a friendship with Napoléon III, acquired the château. Army officer, politician and financier, he was one of the founders of the Crédit Foncier de France bank in 1852. A noteworthy art collector and patron, the count decorated the château with many valuable pieces of furniture, paintings and art objects. He was also the one who donated paintings to the collegiate church that had originally been part of the collection of Cardinal Fesch, the uncle of Napoléon

Salon in chateau Montresor in the Loire Valley

There is an interesting spiral staircase that gives an alternative route up to the billiard room. This feature plus the fine collections make it an interesting detour if you are touring the surrounding area.The castle still belongs to the descendants of Count Branicki today and don't be surprised to bump into a family member on your visit.

 

 

 

 

The legend of Montrésor.

 

photo of lizard to refer to the lrgend of Montresor

There is a local legend surrounding the name of  Montrésor, a popular version of which tells that many many years ago when a handsome prince and his servant stopped at the rocks near the village, exhausted from much travelling, the servant dreamed of marrying a beautiful princess, far above his station. He woke to find a lizard crawling over his master's face.

As he went to kill it, the prince awoke and realised the lizard had a message for them. It disappeared into a hole in the rock to reappear a moment later covered in gold dust. Opening the hole the two men discovered gold beyond their wildest dreams. The prince was able to build a castle on top of the rock, calling it Mon Trésor and putting his servant in charge. The servant was now rich enough to marry the beautiful princess of his dreams and they all lived happily ever after. A less romantic, if not more plausible meaning for the name is that one of the original lords of the village was treasurer of the cathedral at Tours so the place was known as "mons thesauri," or the mount of the treasurer eventually  becoming Montrésor.

 

Montresor

 

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Directions and time to Montresor

 

 

To get directions and time to Montresor, type in your post code or your starting point,  i.e.: 'Paris'

 

  

 

 

Official website:chateaudemontresor.fr/

 

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"Author - Jim Craig