Chateau de La Roche Guyon

The site of the Chateau de La Roche-Guyon is in itself quite unique.  At this point, the Seine draws a large loop that dominates the limestone hills, which offer a broad panorama of the valley, allowing observations from afar and controlling river traffic.  La Roche-Guyon holds, therefore, a significant strategic position.

In the context of clashes between the Normans and the French, the fortress of La Roche-Guyon is very heavily guarded.  The war of Vexin, in particular, stressed the need to strengthen the borders and, with them, the Chateau de La Roche-Guyon.  The fortress is now a castle.

At the end of the 12th century, circa 1190, the tower was built.  It was reinforced in the early 13th century by a double wall, which makes it almost impregnable.

Around 1250, the dungeon was a mansion at the foot of the cliff.  The defensive system was doubled, securely guarding the peak and the banks of the Seine.

A veritable stronghold, the Chateau de La Roche-Guyon came under siege during the Hundred Years War.  In 1419, Rouen, Mantes and Vernon capitulated and Henry V ordered the siege of the castle, which lasted six months!  The fortress was taken in 1449 with the help of the victorious troops of the King of France.

With the Hundred Years War over, the Chateau de La Roche-Guyon lost its military standing.  To remove the war-like aspects of the building, openings that let in light were drilled in the walls.  The lower walls were transformed to make the whole castle more welcoming.  Froma fortress, the castle became a place that welcomed visiting kings.  François and Henri II stayed there at hunting parties.  The land of La Roche-Guyon became a Duchy.

The 18th century was the heyday of the Chateau de La Roche-Guyon as Duke Alexandre de La Rochefoucauld and his daughter, the Duchesse d’Enville, undertook major work that profoundly changed the old fortress and created the chateau we see today, with the addition of the stables, the two pavilions, the court of honour and the monumental entrance.

The Chateau de La Roche-Guyon then returned to the La Rochefoucauld family although, from 1797 to 1829, the Chateau de La Roche-Guyon left the family.  Indeed, appointed Archbishop of Besançon in 1829, Louis François Auguste de Rohan-Chabot, sold his inheritance to his cousin, François de La Rochefoucauld XIII, son of the famous La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, founder of the First Savings Bank of France.  The descendants of this family still live in the castle today.

The castle in the Republic
Apart from the demolition of the upper deck in 1890, the castle suffered no notable changes after being sold in 1829.  To give comfort and panache with a soul to their historic home, the lords themselves refurbished the apartments and organise private visits.  Their guests admired the ruins of the keep and the rooms of Henry IV, remembering with a certain nostalgia the glorious days of the monarchy and the residence of kings, before the Republic was established.

Château de La Roche-Guyon is located 87 km from Hyatt Regency Paris – Charles de Gaulle.
E.P.C.C du Château de La Roche-Guyon
1 rue de l’Audience
95780 La Roche-Guyon
Tel+ 33 1 34 79 74 42

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351 Av. du Bois de la Pie, CS 42048 Paris Nord 2, Roissy CDG Cedex, France, 95912