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Château Bazoches, Burgundy, France
Château de Bazoches

ChAteau de Bazoches
near Vézelay

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During the 800 year life of Château de Bazoches, there have been 40 owners belonging to 20 families. The two main ‘stocks’ however, have intertwined with the result that when Hélène de Vibraye married Arnaud, Vicomte de Sigalas in 1992, Château de Bazoches was once more returned to the original family line. History has come full circle. The Vicomte and his wife set about restoring the château to its former glory, and five years later, after major structural work, it was opened to the public.

For anyone interested in history, architecture and interior design, the château is of great interest. But its most famous owner, Maréchal de Vauban, adds a dimension which sets it apart from ‘just another stately home’.

Château Bazoches near Vézelay, Burgundy, France
Interior at Château de Bazoches

Vauban was a military leader, engineer and strategist. He was an expert on fortification, invented the bayonet rifle, iron-barrelled cannon and the mortar.
One of King Louis XIV’s most loyal servants, he received a large sum of money as thanks for his success at the siege of Maastricht, and with that bought back the estates and châteaux, not far from his birthplace nearby, St-Léger-Vauban.

The Gallery of the château became the ‘ops room’ for Vauban. He had models made to explain his strategies in war with dry ditches, moats, bastions and ravelins. 129 of these models are still in existence today, some of which are housed in Musée des Invalides in Paris. A copy the model of the town of Neuf-Brisach is on display in the gallery. This fortress built by Vauban, shows his military expertise and way-ahead concepts in town planning. His ideas influenced the building of many of the great fortress towns across France from the citadels at Briançon and Lille to the fortresses at La Rochelle, Dunkirk and Brest.

Home of Vauban, Burgundy, France

And what did he do in his spare time one might ask? Well, amazingly he wrote books covering subjects as diverse as pig rearing to economics, military subjects, of course, to the upgrading of the Canal du Midi.

The restored château takes you back to the elegant days King Louis XIV but illustrates that Maréchal de Vauban had a lot more to him than most of the court hangers-on of the time with their scandal and vulgar flippancy. The de Sigalas heirs have captured the sentiment of their ancestor well.

* Château de Bazoches is open from mid February to mid November. See their website for seasonal time differences. .

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