Lavoûte-Polignac castle (Loire)

The private tours and the individual excursions from Paris to the castles of the Upper Loire. The Guide book, the trip description, the reviews.
Lavoûte-Polignac Château, the fragments of history, briefly about the castle.
The Duke de Polignac is rightly proud of having the first castle of the Loire. And what a castle! Forget Blois and Chambord. Here, about fifteen kilometers north of Le Puy, the Loire still has a fast current, and a meander – “vault” – which almost perfectly surrounds the house of Polignac. On the terrace of the first floor, which rises 45 meters on the steep bank of the Loire, you can see meadows and grazing sheep.
In the 9th century, the Lavoûte-Polignac castle was originally built by the Benedict monks as a defensive structure – a fortress, which is located on the high bank of the Loire among forests and shrubs.
In 1251, the Castle was handed over to Mr. Armand de Polignac.
In the 17th century, the Polignac family rebuilt the Castle in the spirit of the Renaissance.
At the end of the 18th century, during turbulent political events, in 1793 the Polignac family was forced to leave France and move to Austria. The castle was nationalized, resold to another family, but as always, due to lack of money, it began to collapse.
In the 19th century, a young and energetic representative of the Polignac family, Melchior de Polignac, returned to France and the castle was bought back. The southern wing of the Castle was restored, the castle park was put in order. Since that time, only the heirs of Polignac live in Lavut Castle. The owners themselves occupy only a few rooms on two floors, tours are held in the rest of the premises. In the halls and corridors of the castle, where guided tours are held, there is a rich collection of works of art, Renaissance fireplaces, furniture and tapestries of the 17th century, historical archives, old documents, portraits of the de Polignac family, etc.
Lavoûte-Polignac Castle is built of gray stone of volcanic origin.
The Lavoûte-Polignac Castle complex consists of:
– Three main buildings
– Four towers
– Courtyard with bell tower
– Dungeon
As befits a defensive structure, the castle was surrounded by a double earthen rampart.

Castle Lavoûte-Polignac, the hunting and the fishing.
The surroundings of the castle, the area called Lavoûte-sur-Loire was famous for its nature and beauty. Mills at the foot of the Castle. Orchards and vineyards, fields, meadows, a forest where wild boars, wolves and even deer live. Guests came here to hunt with greyhounds. There are a lot of fish in the river – salmon, trout, eel. Great place for fishing.

(*) Series of photo-postcards “LE VELAY ILLUSTRÉ 1130 Le Château de la Voûte-Polignac (private collection). Photo by M.B. Le Puy (Marguerite Bremond)

How to get to the castle from Paris.
Individual excursions from Paris are possible as part of a tour to the castles of the Loire, when you yourself choose the route and objects of visit. Direction – south of the “classical” valley.

Helpful Hints.
If you are visiting Lavoûte-Polignac Castle by booking private tours from Paris by car, you can visit another very interesting place near the castle. This is the ancient fortress of Polignac.