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The Grand Siècle Returns to Normandy’s Château de Carrouges

Published on , by Sophie Humann

The Centre des Monuments Nationaux has restored a rare collection of 17th-century furnishings in the royal apartment at the Château de Carrouges, reviving some of the august residence’s former glory.

The gatehouse at the Château de Carrouges (Orne).© David Bordes - CMN The Grand Siècle Returns to Normandy’s Château de Carrouges

The gatehouse at the Château de Carrouges (Orne).
© David Bordes - CMN

From the village of Carrouges, in France’s Orne département , the eye is drawn to the gatehouse below: a slender silhouette criss-crossed with red and black bricks, topped with an imposing, steeply sloping roof. This entrance hides the imposing mass of the moated château, whose formal garden opens onto farmland. The constructions carried out at various periods are so interconnected that the former fortress in granite-encircled brick, with its continuous slate roof covering almost a hectare (12,000 sq.yds), seems almost a single entity. The original keep was built in the second half of the 14th century , undoubtedly by Jean IV de Carrouges. Famous for his participation in France's last judicial duel in 1386, he appeared a few years ago in the guise of Matt Damon in Ridley Scott’s 2021 film The Last Duel . The Carrouges, Blossets and Le Veneurs—powerful Norman families who succeeded one another through a series of marriages—continued to transform the site until the end of the 19th century. Faced with the dilapidation of the property, listed in 1927, the last heir, Marie Gaston Tanneguy…
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