Sunday, 19 August 2018

Mosaic Monday # 97 - Chateau de Terre Neuve in the Vendee.

During our trip to the Dordogne and the Vendee in June we heard about the privately owned Chateau de Terre Neuve, open to visitors at certain times of the year and so decided to make a small detour to see if we could take a tour.
Classed as an Historical Monument of France the Chateau is situated on the outskirts of the town of Fontenay-le-Comte, a town once described by the Renaissance king  Francois 1st as "the fountain and source of beautiful minds".
We were in luck as we were the only people visiting that morning and so had the services of the tour guide all to ourselves.
An plaque above the entrance is engraved with a verse written by Nicolas Rapin.
Winds, blow at all seasons
Sweet air upon this house
That neither fever nor plague
Nor the evils of excess.
Desire, quarrel or trial
Should trouble those that live here.
Here's a five minute potted history of the Chateau.
The architect Jean Morrison was commissioned in the late 1590's to construct an imposing residence for the poet Nicolas Rapin. 
A true Renaissance man Rapin wrote poems in Greek and Latin as well as French.
He was also, amongst many other things, a magistrate; a soldier; high provost of the constabulary of France and a companion to Henry IV on campaigns during the French Wars of Religion.
At Arques in 1589 against Charles of Lorraine and again at Ivry, Normandy against the Duc de Mayenne in 1590.

Nicolas Rapin was the father of nine children none of whom survived him so sadly when he died in 1608 the Chateau fell into neglect before being bought by Lazarite missionaries.
In the early 19th century the Chateau was purchased by the Comte de Vasse, mayor of Fontenay-le-Comte and deputy of the Vendee.

His descendant, the artist Octave de Rochbrune, dedicated over 50 years to the transformation of the Chateau adding magnificent architectural and sculptural details and filling the interiors with museum quality furniture, paintings and objects.
In the Museum this painting covers one wall and the doorway inset into it,
did you notice the door handle?

Some of these were acquired from the Chateau de Chambord which is still to this day a jewel in the crown of the Loire Valley.

Octave de Rochbrune was a master engraver producing an incredible 492 copperplates during his lifetime.

Octave's daughter Elisabeth married Count Raoul de Fontenioux in 1877 and their descendants continue to reside in the Chateau lovingly maintaining it for future generations to enjoy.
Of course the Chateau is a also a home and so all though we were able to visit the private rooms downstairs taking photos wasn't allowed.

However, I was able to photograph some of the other rooms of the Chateau, also in the Museum space above the gift shop and of course the Chateau's exterior.
During the Terre Neuve Festival in June this year the Chateau played host to 5 open air theatre performances, you can see the stage being built in this photo.
Chateau de Terre Neuve website.


  1. Maggie, thanks for the armchair tour of Chateau de Terre Neuve. I learn something new when I visit with you ... see things I probably never would! Thank you! And thank you for hosting. Have a fun filled week!

  2. Hello Maggie, thank you for this lovely tour and history of Chateau de Terre Neuve. I like knowing that it's still a private family home. Some of the features you showed us are lovely. I especially like the ornate door archway, and I had to look for the door knob on the painting.
    Have a wonderful week.

  3. Hi Maggie
    I really enjoyed your tour of Chateau de Terre Neuve--what a magnificent home. So sad the original owner's children all predeceased him. It's so wonderful that the chateau was so lovingly restored and now allows visitors to admire that beautiful architecture art work and vintage mementos. Have a wonderful week!

  4. Thank you for sharing this interesting post! It’s always a great pleasure to see such buildings.

    Wish you a good Week.

  5. An amazing place, Maggie with a rich treasure trove of artistic and architectural delights.

  6. I love one of the last photos of you looking UP! What a fabulous place to see and spend time at. Love the old stone work...the walls are beautiful. I always wished I had a room that I could do some kind of treatment on the walls to make them look old. Beautiful post! Happy MM! And thanks for letting me know about DASH! I'll google it!

  7. Wow!!! such awesome pictures. Thanks for taking me there. Happy Mosaic Monday Maggie

    much love...

  8. Maggie - oh, so glad that the chateau was saved from a slow fall into ruin. It has lovely 'bones', and the subsequent families have clearly dedicated a lot of time and money to restore its glory. Thanks for the virtual tour, and for hosting!

  9. What a wonderful visit and informative post. I love it when a place like this is protected and saved. They've certainly done a good job. The dolls are adorable, too.

  10. Your posts are so interesting. This was a lovely piece. You storytell so well! I felt just as though I was there with you.

  11. Dearest Maggie; Thank you SO much for sharing your visit to Chateau de Terre Neuve♪ Yes, always stunned me seeing gorgeous old western architecture. Great it was saved and restored.
    For me the plaque interests me;thanks for the transportation p;-) Smiled to read "Winds, blow at all seasons"
    Thank you SO much for hosting and wishing you will have a wonderful rest of the week.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

  12. What a beautiful place...and that dress with the gorgeous! I think that would be one of my very favorite dresses to wear if I lived back then.

  13. I love all the details! Thanks for sharing! It is fun to see how generations before us lived. Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

  14. Amazing to have a private tour of this elegant and fascinating 'castle' home. So beautiful. I'm so glad you got to take some pictures. The clothes were fun to see, and I was especially taken with the sweet dolls!


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