intoHistory, geschiedenis beleven in authentieke logies
A feudal fortress, a country residence, a treasure trove of art, and a place to stay in the highest comfort, the Château Châtillon-en-Bazois, is set in a park overlooking the water gardens, and offers much more besides. Situated between Morvan and the Nivernais region in the heart of Burgundy (Nevers), it provides an ideal base from which to discover regional cultural and gastronomic riches, to explore its countryside, and to travel back in time.
Built in the 15th century and surrounded by a vast park, the château has retained its soul while progressively benefitting from the addition of modern comforts since the 19th century. © H. Pepke
© CMS – Châtillon-en-Bazois
The château – one of the four Nivernais baronies and at stake during the Burgundian wars at the time of Charles the Bold – is one of the oldest fortress-castles and is documented from 980. It was made a little more comfortable in the 19th century, and then fell into a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ trance, until it was rediscovered by the Sribny family.
It was with art that the present owners breathed new life into the Château Châtillon-en-Bazois, and it is through the most diverse forms of art, that its soul has been revealed to the hosts and to their guests. Chantal Moreau-Sribny, daughter of a renowned artist, and who grew up in the artistic circles of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, was predestined to be the one to reawaken the ‘Sleeping Beauty’, once an old feudal castle on the banks of the River Aron.
A wonderful view looking over the River Aron and the water gardens designed by Chantal Moreau-Sribny. © CMS – Château de Châtillon-en-Bazois
The works of renowned sculptors are exhibited in the gardens; furnishings and fittings were created specially for the tower bedroom (strongly defensive in character), furniture, paintings, and works of art in the library or chandeliers, and Venetian glass in the music room; casts from the Louvre workshops grace the staircases and the corridors – and in the lounge bar near the swimming pool, which looks like a miniature replica from Versailles, there is even a period juke box. Every item has been carefully selected or commissioned and, as every musician in an orchestra, has its designated place in the whole.
Hunting room with sumptuous dishes designed and produced specifically for the castle © H. Pepke
The tower’s bathroom has a unique bath designed by a contemporary artist. © H. Pepke
No archer’s arrow has been seen for nearly five hundred years. Cars have replaced the carriages of yesterday, and artistic excellence has replaced the might of the nobles, but the life breathed into the château by the present owners, has given it a permanent resonance with past eras. Guests will savour its multiple charms – basking in the designer bathtub in the tower room, or waking up in a four-poster bed in a room overlooking the gardens, or dining at a table magnificently dressed with precious tableware. Every minute will be a journey back in time while preserving all the modern comforts.
Meeting up with the 19th century. © CMS – Château de Châtillon-en-Bazois
A gourmet trail will take food-loving guests to different rooms in the château where they will meet up to dine and enjoy a fairy-tale atmosphere and festive decor as can be seen here in the beautiful Italian dining room. © CMS – Château de Bazois
The roasting spit in the historic kitchen is still used to cook succulent poultry. © H. Pepke
Thanks to its central situation, in a small town in the south of the Nivernais region between Morvan and the Val de Loire, and at the crossroads of numerous country circuits, Châtillon-en-Bazois provides a perfect base from which to discover surrounding attractions. In just 45 minutes or less, you will find:
Nevers to the west with its famous ceramics and its Museum of ceramics and fine arts, and its cathedral fitted with exceptionally fine modern stained glass and traces of a rare Merovingian crypt in its foundations.
Nevers Cathedral with traces of the 6th century. © Baghee58
To the south-east there is Château-Chinon and the Septennat museum which houses numerous works of art received as gifts, from all over the world, by François Mitterand, who was mayor of the small town for 22 years. The town is also home to the nearby Costume museum, which will take you back to the times of Zola’s Bonheur des Dames (Ladies’ Delight).
Autun with its Gallo-Roman and imposing so-called Temple of Janus, its cathedral, and the treasures to be found in the Rolin museum nearby.
Mont Beuvray and the archaeological site of Bibracte the Celtic capital of the Aeduian people, with its museum and exhibits of finds from the site, which reveal the relations between the Gauls and the Romans.
The Church of Saint-Roch in the village of Ternant south-east of Nièvre contains two magnificent altarpieces. Superbly restored, well-lit, and with excellent documentation, they were executed by Flemish and Brabantine artists for local nobles who were related to the Burgundy dukes. Bourbon-Lancy about 20 kilometres away, is also worth visiting.
To get a good feel for the Nièvre countryside (as well as the Châtillon château and the actors who stayed there during the filming) watch the classic film, Le Mystère de la chambre jaune (original French version with English subtitles), by Bruno Podalydès, with Claude Rich, Pierre Arditi, Sabine Azéma and Michael Lonsdale.
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Château de Châtillon-en-Bazois
Madame Ch. Moreau-Sribny
Rue de Sankt-Goar
Tel. +33 1 46 22 00 37
Château’s own website
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