was the Renaissance -- 1518 -- and a new owner was claiming this
estate in the Deux-Sèvres of western France, just north of the
city of Parthenay. His name was Artus Gouffier, and he was
the King's chamberlain. M. Gouffier's family owned the nearby
d'Oiron, still standing five centuries later and open for public visits
the year 'round.
The stunning Château de Saint-Loup you see today was constructed by Claude Gouffier and his son, Louis, between 1609 and 1626 in the shape of an "H" to honor the then king, Henri IV, and they crowned the château's central pavilion with a bell tower. But earlier, in medieval times, the de Dercé family built a fortress on this land. All that remains of that fortress today is the Keep consisting of a fourteenth century tower and the fifteenth century buildings adjoining it, which were remodeled in the troubadour style in the nineteenth century. A ring of machicolations crown the square tower and high wooden cross pieces support the hoardings, with the entrance to the tower protected by a portcullis. Famous visitors to the Keep include the Black Prince who imprisoned the King of France, Jean le Bon, there following the battle of Poitiers in 1356.
Today, the recently updated Keep is a comfortable and inviting chambres d'hôtes with four double rooms and two suites, all with private baths, providing modern conveniences while maintaining a medieval atmosphere. Guests will appreciate the tasteful use of antique furnishings and four-poster beds. For those visitors who would like to share the château experience with a group of friends or family, it is possible to rent the Keep as a self-catering accommodation on a weekly basis. The Keep can house up to sixteen people and provides all necessary facilities including an equipped kitchen, a salon and a large dining room.
The château is situated on 50 hectares of land and surrounded by a moat, and its owner, Comte Charles-Henri de Bartillat, is proud of the historic château with its orangerie, ornamental potager, magnificent eighteenth century gardens and park. Château de Saint-Loup beckons visitors to enjoy all it has to offer. The château itself has nine beautifully appointed guest rooms, each just waiting for the arrival of its next occupant. A library music room with piano and sitting rooms are at your disposal when you stay at the château. Cocktails are served in these rooms prior to enjoying a delicious dinner in the grand dining room.
If a group of visitors wishes to rent the entire castle, that is possible as well -- as a bed and breakfast accommodation. Perhaps someone wants to celebrate a special occasion at the château. It is available for weddings, anniversary parties -- actually any occasion at all - and up to 50 guests can be seated in the dining room or 80 in the music room. Your host says that anything you can dream of can come true at Saint-Loup!
Rooms: 15: 11 with baths, 4 with showers, all with WCs.
and twins also available.
Prices: € 120, € 135 (single occupancy) & € 190 (double occupancy) in château; € 150 & € 190 in keep.
Suites/Apartments: 3 € 190
Extra Bed: € 55 for adult; € 45 for child under 18
Breakfast: € 15 per person
Keep: € 3,900 per week (excluding Christmas and New Year's) from Sunday at noon to Saturday at noon (6 nights)
Rent Entire Castle: € 6,400 from Sunday 3PM until Saturday noon.
Ménagerie: This interesting building along the canal will soon provide ten new rooms for overnight stays and facilities for receptions, weddings and other group events. Expected completion 2013.
Dinners: By advance reservation only,
From Paris a 4-hour drive via the Autoroute (A10) direction Tours. Take the N152 at Tours direction Saumur, the N147 at Saumur to Montreuil-Bellay, the D938 direction Thouars and proceed 23 kilometers to left turn onto the D46 direction Saint-Loup-Lamairé. The château is signposted.
From Poitiers: take the N149 direction Parthenay, then the D938 direction Thouars, and turn right onto the D46 direction Saint-Loup-Lamairé.
Airport: domestic flights into Poitiers
Train: from Paris, Gare Montparnasse, to Poitiers the TGV takes about one and a half hours. The TGV from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Poitiers - 2 hours.