Thursday, 28 July 2016

Five On Friday - Chateau des Milandes.

Five On Friday hosted by Amy @ Love Made My Home has become one of my favourite places to spend time in blogland.
This week for my five a short story about Josephine Baker, a famous African American entertainer who burst into the limelight in Paris during the 1920's, plus photographs of one of the most interesting of the Perigord's 1001 Chateaux.


Chateau des Milandes.
The romantic Chateau des Milandes was built in 1489 by Francois de Caumont, Lord of Castelnaud,  for his wife who was discontented with life buried away in the feudal fortress of the town.
It was their home until 1535 and then inherited by Jacques Nompart de Caumont, the "Duc de la Force", a trusted and loyal servant of Henri IV.
After his death the chateau was abandoned and neglected until the French Revolution of 1789.


The chateau's fortunes improved when it was purchased by a wealthy industrialist in 1900.
Mr. Claverie, the new owner, added gothic influences such as highly carved balustrades, terraces and gargoyles to the chateau's fa├žade. He also installed a water reservoir in the square tower.
His influence extended to the surrounding gardens and following a popular trend of the time he planted magnificent magnolia trees which still flourish to this day.


After his death in 1932 the chateau was sold to a local doctor.
During a visit to the Perigord in 1937 Josephine Baker discovered the chateau and became the tenant of what she called her "Sleeping Beauty Castle" before finally purchasing it ten years later.
Before our visit to the chateau I already knew some of JB's fascinating history from a biography written by Lynn Harvey, "Naked at the Feast"  has a semi permanent place in the pile of books on my bedside table and I dip into it often.

The Labarre family, present owners of the chateau, have accumulated an amazing amount of memorabilia covering Josephine Baker's career as a Music Hall entertainer.
There are many collections on display throughout the chateau, especially in the Music Room and Grand Salon. They include sheet music, hundreds of photographs, letters, theatre programs, costumes and movie posters spanning 50 years.
Of special interest was the exhibit devoted to a different side of her character - her involvement with the French Resistance during WWII when she was recruited to the Counter Intelligence Service.
In the 1950's, in an attempt to combat racism, Josephine and her then husband Jo Bouillon created a Global Village at Milandes.
Together they adopted 12 children from different ethic backgrounds, 10 boys and 2 girls.
She called them her "Rainbow Tribe".
The children all attended the local school as well as being privately tutored in their own language at Milandes.
A bedroom on an upper floor of the chateau has been restored to show how it may have looked when her first adopted son Akio, who was originally from Korea, slept there.


I've only exterior shots of the chateau for my five as sadly cameras are not allowed inside but if you'd like to see some of the exhibits I've described click on the links to the Chateau des Milandes website included within the post.

31 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful chateau with a very sad story of Josephine's last years...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Truly a castle like from a fairytale, thanks for sharing these beautiful picturestory
    Enjoy your weekend

    ReplyDelete
  3. What an amazing story. Imagine adopting 12 children from different parts of the world! Have a good weekend. B x

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely place, and such an interesting story. Beautiful castle.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have of course heard about Josephine Baker but this is really interesting and quite surprising. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fascinating stuff. The chateau looks wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fabulous chateau! Josephine Baker was quite a character... Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A fascinating place with a remarkable history. Thanks for links to the chateau as I am intrigue to find out more and see the interior too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You have shared a place in history that I didn't know about. It's such a lovely setting. I'm going to read more about Josephine Baker. Enjoy your day. Pat

    ReplyDelete
  10. It looks like a beautiful place, full of history. Josephine Baker sounds like a fascinating lady, a little like Angelina Jolie back in the day. Have a lovely weekend xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello, thanks for sharing the story and the beautiful chateau. Wonderful post.
    Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  12. How interesting! I've really enjoyed reading all the history of such a beautiful place. Your photos are wonderful:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I quite fancy living in a chateau like that! Happy Friday Maggie.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't imagine a house/chateau being abandoned for 200 years or so, then able to be restored. Things were certainly built to last back in the 1400s. Interesting story about Josephine Baker - how brave and wonderful of her to adopt those children. Sounds like a fascinating place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Josephine Baker was a woman of many facets. I will look for the book - I think I'd like it. I certainly liked your photos!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I of course have heard of Josephine Baker, but know few of the details. What a beautiful place to live and I love the idea of her Rainbow Tribe.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A lovely place with so much history! I have heard of Josephine Baker, but did not know she adopted her Rainbow family. Wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a fabulous place! I am a fool for places that give us glimpses of history. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and the fascinating story that goes with them. Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Too bad no inside cameras. It looks like an interesting place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  20. An intriguing chateau and heart warming to read of the adopted rainbow children.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for the visit to Chateau des Milandes and some info on Josephine Baker and her rainbow children. Lovely post. Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I enjoyed the tour of this amazing home (and the history about this amazing woman); thank you! The Grandiflora magnolia is beautiful. In our previous life, we bought a home mostly because it had a beautiful magnolia tree in the front yard (it did have a few other good points too ;>). Thank you for volunteering to host Mosaic Monday; I look forward to taking part.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'd love to see the chateau, but will settle for looking into finding a book about Josephine Baker. I know a little about her. Didn't she perform topless at times and wear a skirt which looked as if it was made from bananas?

    ReplyDelete
  24. This was a great post Maggie - lovely chateau, and learning more about Josephine Baker was super, I knew nothing about the children prior to reading this.

    Happy weekend - Mary

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a fascinating story. It really is a beautiful chateau. X

    ReplyDelete
  26. How interesting ! I didn't know that Josephine Baker lived in this castle !

    ReplyDelete
  27. What an amazing chateau! With twelve children it must have been very lively indeed :-)
    Thanks for popping by, Maggie, Bon weekend. xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a fabulous post, Maggie! And I'd love to see it -- inside or out. I knew a bit about Josephine Baker and her history, especially in the resistance but didn't realize she lived here! That's a spot I would love to visit in person!

    ReplyDelete
  29. You really have my curiosity piqued about Josephine Baker...I'm going to look up the book you have. Your story had me captivated, Maggie! What a great place to tour, its magnificent. And it all started with a lord trying to make his lady happy! I wonder what has happened to all of the adopted children. I have to get that book!!

    Thanks for your visit! Have you met Mary before? She is just lovely and her husband Bob is so fun to be with. I have been so busy and then tired, I feel a little guilty for not posting yet. Traveling wears me out! Back to Chicago tomorrow. I miss my pups!!

    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  30. Absolutely fascinating, thank you. I had no idea Josephine Baker lived so long. What an amazing woman she was. xx

    ReplyDelete
  31. How fascinating and what a really beautiful place!! So very interesting. This is just the sort of reason why I love blogging, I get to find out about interesting things like this! Thank you. Thank you too for joining Five On Friday. I hope that you have a great August and I look forward to seeing you again in September! xx

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!