[Château de Boussac]

Château de Boussac

I’ve always loved castles. There’s something of the child in us all when we are surrounded by the magic of historical fortifications. Odd really, given the terror and bloodshed that most of them have been witness to – if these walls could talk.

From the romanticised Medieval magic of the walled city of Carcassonne to the fairtale splendour of Chenonceau to the obsolete dreadnought Fortresse de Salses, they all grip us with the intensity of the physical aspects of lost ages. So give me a castle, any castle….

[The Great Hall at Boussac ]
The Great Hall at Boussac
And what a castle! Boussac is as outwardly unlovely as any I can think of. It’s brutal and unpromising at a distance which makes it all the more rewarding when you come up close and get to know even a little of the history and what it yields.

Occupied since Roman times and rebuilt in 1400  on the site of earlier castles of the 12th and 13th Centuries, it was remodelled in the  16th and 17th C.

It consists of a rectangular building flanked by a large round tower, two square towers and a staircase tower with three sections.

Inside the castle guards the hall has fireplaces and large chimneys of the 15th C that have been inscribed on the  register of national treasures.

Among the more interesting connections of the castle to French culture – quite apart from its connections with the novelist Georges Sand – is the fact that it was here that the enigmatic La Dame à la licorne tapestries were discovered. They now hang in their own climate controlled room in the Musée Cluny in Paris.

The castle was classified as a historic monument by decree of July 25, 1930.