The Château d’Ussé



???????????????????????????????Mademoiselle De Beauvau
(Louise Gabrielle Marie Blanche Augustine Antoinette De Beauvau-Craon)
Monsieur Le Comte Bertrand De Blacas
(Bertrand Louis Pierre Marie De Blacas D’Aulps)

le 25 Septembre 1879
Familles  apparentées :
De Beauvau ; Komar ; 
De Blacas ;

The Château d’Ussé is a castle of the Loire. It is located on the common of Rigny Ussé in the Department of L’indre and Loire and overlooks the River Indre. He has the distinction of being private and belonged to the Blacas D’aulps family for several generations. The current owner is the 7th Duke of Blacas.

The site is used since prehistoric times. The first known Lord was Ussé, Guesduin I de Saumur, viking chieftain who lived in the years 1005. But it is his son, Guesduin II , who ordered the construction of the first castle in stone.

At the end of the hundred years war, around 1420, Jean de Bueil, count of Sancerre (1406-1477), seigneur of Ussé, began the construction of the present Castle. His son Antoine de Bueil married in 1462 Jeanne of Valois (1448-1467), daughter of King Charles VII and Agnès Sorel. Jeanne’s brother, King Louis XI donated to her sister to a dowry of 40,000 gold crowns, which goes well help to complete the construction of the Castle. Despite this contribution, Antoine de Bueil is heavily indebted and must resolve to sell Ussé. Jacques of L’espinay, son of Richard, Chamberlain to the Duke of Brittany and Beatrix de Montauban, acquires. The son of Jacques, Charles of L’espinay, married to Lucretia de Pons, had built the college chapel.

He will be buried there in 1535. René of Espinay (son of Charles) inherit in turn from the Castle but it will also be indebted and it will therefore be obliged to sell Ussé. This is Suzanne de Bourbon who bought the Château d ‘ Ussé. Suzanne of Bourbon (1509-1570) is the daughter of Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier, and of Louise de Bourbon ; It is a descendant of Saint Louis. She is married to Claude de Rieux, count of Harcourt (1497-1532). It transmits the Château d ‘ Ussé to her daughter Louise de Rieux (1531-1570), dame d’honneur to the Queen Mary Stuart and wife of René de Lorraine, marquis of Elbeuf (1536-1566) Then the Castle passed to Anne, granddaughter of Louise and René, married to Henri of Savoy (1591-1632 )).

In 1659, the castle was bought by Thomas Bernini de Valentinay. Grandson of Thomas, Louis Bernini de Valentinay, born in 1663, Comptroller general of the Maison du roi and Godson of King Louis XIV became marquis of Ussé. This first marquis of Ussé is also a friend of Charles Perrault who will often stay at the Château d ‘ Ussé. D ‘ after tradition, the Castle served as framework for his famous tale: la Belle au Bois Dormant. In 1691, Louis marquis of Ussé wife Jeanne Françoise Prestre de Vauban (1678-1713), daughter of the famous marquis of Vauban. Vauban will come several times to Usse. It was he who built the terraces of the Castle. The tradition also says that Voltaire would have stayed at the Castle. (Huge thanks to Jos for this article)

The son of Louis and Jeanne-Françoise Bernini de Valentinay, Louis-Sébastien, 2nd marquis of Ussé, colonel of Dragoons, died childless. His heirs sold the Castle.

In 1807, the Duras family acquired the Castle. And in 1885, the Countess of born Rochejacquelein Félicie de Durfort (1798-1883), daughter of the duc de Duras, died childless and bequeathed the Château d ‘ Ussé to her nephew the Count Bertrand de Blacas d’aulps, grandson of his sister Clara.

The current owner of the Château d ‘ Ussé is Casimir, Marie, Bertrand, Michel de Blacas d’aulps, 7th Duke of Blacas, born February 15, 1943 in Ussé. He is the son of Pierre Blacas d’aulps, 6th Duke of Blacas (1913-1997) and Hélène de Blacas D’aulps (1921-2005), daughter of count Louis and granddaughter of count Bertrand de Blacas d’aulps.

The Duke of Blacas married Caroline de Fourton. They have three children and a granddaughter: Beatrix (1979) married Count Alexis de Limburg Stirum, and MOM of a small Eleanor born in 2011; Louis-Stanislas (1982) and Hortense (1986). Alexis de Limburg Stirum was born in Ixelles in 1973, he was the son of Count Henri and the grandson of count Wilhelm of Limburg Stirum and Princess Elisabeth line.

The Duke of Blacas had a younger brother Alexander (1944-2003) , who had married Yseult Boulay de la Meurthe, granddaughter of Princess Isabelle of France, (sister of the previous count of Paris), they had two daughters Marguerite (1980) and Diane (1981)

The Blacas D’aulps are a family originally from Provence, the title of Duke was given to them by King Louis XVIII in 1821. Casimir, Pierre, Louis, Jean, first Duke of Blacas was a loyal supporter of King Louis XVIII, he was diplomat (Ambassador to Rome), Member of the Institut de France. It was he who negotiated the marriage between the Duke of Berry and the Princess Maria-Carolina of Bourbon Two Sicilies.

PHOTO 3 number 1831

They have inherited the Château d ‘ Ussé by Durfort. Hélène de Blacas D’aulps, mother of the current Duke is the great granddaughter of Count Xavier de Blacas d’aulps (brother of the 2nd Duke of Blacas) and Felicie de Chastellux. This was the granddaughter of Amédée de Durfort, Duke of Duras (1771-1838) and Claire de Coetnempren de Kersaint (1777-1818), Duchess of Duras. The Duchess of Duras had two daughters: Félicie (1798-1883), Countess of the Rochejacquelein, remained without offspring and Clara (1799-1863) married to Henri de Chastellux, Duke of Rouzon Duras, mother of four whose Félicie married to Xavier de Blacas D’aulps.

Claire de Kersaint, Duchess of Duras is known as woman of letters, friend of René de Chateaubriand , whom she met in exile in London, as well as Madame de Staël. The Duchess of Duras is a woman writer, author of novels including «Ourika» published in 1823 and ‘Edward ‘.

When you arrive at the foot of the Château d ‘ Ussé, one is seized by the beauty of this majestic clinging to the Chinon forest remains and that seems to come out of a fairy tale. Ussé is magical.

The driveway climbs slightly and we arrive in the courtyard of the Castle. Then there are the different periods of constructions: left the 15th (Gothic), face the 16th (renaissance) and on the right the 17th (classic). The unity of the three styles is given by regional white stone: the tufa.

The tour begins with the left. We are entering the hall: it is the part of the 15th century with basically a pretty staircase built in the time of the Countess of the Rochejacquelein. Then the guard room: it was the former entrance to the Castle, a drawbridge replaced the window. Showcases are memories of the family, in the centre a model of the Castle.

The tour continues by the salon Vauban : it was a chapel at the time of the Castle fort. Include memories of family of the Duchess of Duras and Casimir de Blacas D’aulps (1771-1939), first Duke of Blacas, diplomat, close to Louis XVIII . You can also admire beautiful tapestries (including a representative David and Goliath), a portrait of Madame de Maintenon and Regency completely removable… furniture in order to change the fabric according to the seasons.

The visitor is then prompted to enter a small room which is the oldest part of the Castle. And we discover these beautiful models in holding of time, which is a peculiarity of the Château d ‘ Ussé and inspires the visit so pleasant way. A magnificent 15th century Gothic chest adorns one wall. A little further a small door leads into an underground shelter which served during troubled times and that emerge in the middle of the forest.

The visit continues by the large Gallery: in the 15th century it was a passage open on the Court and that was transformed into a logis of housing. Of magnificent tapestries from Brussels cover the back wall.

We arrive in the grand staircase: it is a straight staircase in wrought iron of the 17th century Italian-inspired banister. At the foot of the imposing staircase, found a Chair to holders of the 18th century and a beautiful pair of boots of 2kg each serving the rider protection against shocks and weatherproof. He wore them on his own boots. A postilion made the journey between two relay remote posts between them to 28km or 7 leagues, these boots have also inspired Charles Perrault.

The apartments visit ends with the antechamber and the King’s Chamber. During the reign of Louis XIV, the great castles needed to book a room for the King. Silks of era to the reasons for Chinese have made in factories of revolutions in the 18th century. All of the furniture dates from 1770.

Just before the release, a beautiful dining room opens to the view of visitors, is the cover, ready to serve Jack…

The visitor is then invited to visit the outer turret to discover the path of round and meet la Belle au Bois Dormant. The tale is beautifully staged: the decorations are meticulous, beautiful costumes.

Now here are some pictures of the old Castle and the roof structure.

Outside, you can see the chapel built renaissance in 1521 and dedicated to St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, the stables and tack, cellars dug in the rock (the old and the new with an altar dedicated to Saint Vincent) and dating back to the 15th century, the gardens designed by Le Nôtre arranged on terraces built by Vaubanbuilt in 1664, l’Orangerie Park with magnificent Cedars of the Lebanon, brought back in 1817 by Chateaubriand from the Holy land to her friend the Duchess of Duras.

The saddlery and stables of the Castle

Below, the cellars of the Château d ‘ Ussé

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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