Tanlay is a Renaissance château erected and expanded between 1550 and 1650. Although the castle has always had a residential purpose, it was designed around a rectangular moat and dotted with round towers at its extremities, in reminiscence of the previous medieval castle which it replaced.
The castle is renowned for its gallery painted in trompe l'oeil and for the frescoes in the Tour de la Ligue ("Tower of the Huguenot League").
In the 13th and 14th centuries, the lordship of Tanlay belonged to the House of Courtenay, a Capetian branch descended from King Louis VI.
In 1533, the ruins of the medieval castle are inherited by Louise de Montmorency, sister of the great statesman and constable, Duke Anne of Montmorency, and widow of Marshal Gaspard I de Coligny.
It is her son, François de Coligny d'Andelot, who undertakes the construction of today's grand château, built between 1550 and 1568, and the adjoining petit château, built from 1558, but interrupted by the Wars of Religion. The petit château, unfinished at the time of François' death in 1569, is completed in 1610 by his son-in-law, Jacques Chabot, marquis de Mirebeau.
In 1642, Tanlay is sold to Cardinal Mazarin, who bestows it to his Finance Minister, Michel Particelli d'Emery. The latter immediately commissioned architect Pierre Le Muet to expand the castle, notably by adding the right wing to form a U shape.
In 1704, his great-grand-son sells the estate to Jean Thévenin, governor of Saint-Denis. His descendants, the Comtes de La Chauvinièr, still own the castle today.
Opening Hours & Admission
The castle is open daily (except Tuesdays) from 1st April to 2nd November, from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:15 pm to 6:00 pm.
Admission is 3 € for everybody. Guided tours cost 9 € for adults and 5 € for children from 12 to 18 years old (free under 12). Tours start from 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:15 pm and 5:15 pm.
"Grand château" de Tanlay.
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