THE RESIDENCES of Mme de Pompadour




The Castle and the Marquisate of Pompadour (map)

The Castle that sometimes reminds the medieval time and sometimes the Great century dominates Pompadour.

The fortified walls of the former fortress built in 1026 by Guy de Lastrous, are still visible, with their eight watchtowers just above the deep ditch.

The main entrance is situated below a castlet framed by two towers with the trace of the bascule bridge. A fire destroyed the castle in 1200 during the wars just after the death of Richard the Lionheart.

In XV century was rebuilt by Geoffroy Helie de Pompadour, an alms-giver and Rector of Arnac.

Despite this impressive, sumptuous building, the powerful Pompadour family went famous only in the XVIII century thanks to Marie Françoise Helie de Pompadour, Marchioness of Hautefort.

The castle and the marquisate were inherited by the Prince Bourbon Conti and, in 1745, donated to the King who was looking for a title for Madame Lenormant d’Etiolles.

The new Marchioness kept the title and the arms (three castles on a sandy beach) until 1760 when she sold her property to the banker Laborde because of her financial problems. Then the duke of Stanville bought it from Mr. Laborde.

Finally the King exchanged an estate in Amboise with the Castle that became a Royal property once again. The castle was partially destroyed by the revolution and subsequently, in 1834, the gothic chapel collapsed in a fire.

Nowadays it is a pleasure to take a walk along its terrace looking at the surrounding nature, observing the restored south wing and the hippodrome as the Officers of the School of Arras occupy the castle.

Even after a series of important dominions and events the name of the place is still strongly linked to the memory of the beautiful Marchioness.

(Probably she never lived there).