chateau de bourronPhotos courtesy of Château de Bourron

 

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The first evidence of human settlement in the area of the château dates back to Neolithic times—7,000 years ago—but it wasn’t until a Celtic invasion that the name “Bourron” first appeared, Bourron being a variation of “Bovron,” meaning the water divinity.

In 1150, the first documentation of the Lords of Bourron was registered, but their fortress-castle “closed with walls and encircled with water moats...” wasn’t described until 200 years later by a royal inspector. During this era the estate belonged to the descendents of Denis de Chailly, of the family of the Vicomte de Melun, who came to the service of Jeanne d’Arc during the 100 Years War. One owner, Charles de Melun was beheaded under order of Louis XI for aiding a state prisoner to escape. His son, Antoine, had so many debts at the time of his death in 1487, the estate was sold at auction.

The next owner was Olivier de Sallard, who, because of his skills at taming birds, became known as the Great Falconer of France in the court of Louis XI. His descendents rebuilt the old fortress in the 16th century into the castle we see today.

When the Sallard family died out, a second husband, Frédéric de Beringhen, took over the property. In 1725 the deposed king of Poland, Stanislas Leczinski, stayed at the château because the etiquette at the time did not allow him to stay at nearby Fontainebleau where his daughter was to marry Louis XV. The king had to arrange a hunt in order to meet his father-in-law off the record.

During the French Revolution, the castle was sacked and all feudal elements in its architecture were destroyed. The estate changed hands a number of times in the 19th century until acquired in 1878 by the noble Montesquiou-Fezensac family, who spent over a century restoring it to its former glory.

Pamela’s Perspective

I’m a huge fan of castle hotels that are operated and restored by couples who love and respect the history and architecture of the property. It is no small task to solve plumbing and electrical issues in structures built in times when such things didn’t exist. The preservation efforts here are first rate.

With advance notice, your hosts Guy and Estrella can arrange to have a chef come in and prepare a private dinner for you!

 

Château de Bourron

A 16th-century castle

Contact

14 bis, rue du Maréchal Foch
77780 Bourron-Marlotte
Tel: ++33 (0)1 64 78 39 39
Fax: ++33 (0)1 64 78 35 35
Hotel website
Reserve with Booking.com

Fast facts

9 rooms

Double rooms: 180–370 euros
Suites: 520 euros
Rates include tax and service; breakfast extra

Open: all year

Getting there

The château is about 8 km south of the town of Fontainebleau. Take D607. As you approach the village of Bourron-Marlotte, turn left on rue du Maréchal Foch.
Trains from Paris leave from the Gare de Lyon (travel in the direction of Montargis and buy tickets at the “Ile de France” ticket office). The station in Bourron-Marlotte is 1 km from the château.

What to do

On site: seasonal tennis court; hiking; bicycling
Nearby: Fontainebleau; natural area of Plain of Sorques; Gothic church and fortress of Menours; medieval town of Moret-sur-Loing; Barbizon; 13th-century Château de Blandy-les-Tours; 16th-century Château de Courances

Weddings

Yes. Inquire hotel for details.

 

Step back into the world of French nobility at this authentic and charming moated château. Indeed, your personable and gracious hosts, Guy and Estrella Cordon, are directly related to the Montesquiou-Fezensac family who acquired the castle nearly 140 years ago.

The feeling here is more of a family home rather than a hotel. Need a dinner reservation or advice of how to spend your day? Just let them know!

Spacious guest rooms bear names of historical personages who have had some connection with the castle, such as Marie Leszczynska, wife of Louis XV. You’ll find original 17th-century floor tiles, decorative fireplaces, fine linen wall coverings, and 18th-century furnishings. The bed in one suite sits under a unique gilded arch, while a rough-hewn beamed ceiling and raspberry and cream colored stripped wall coverings feature in La Chambre Vogüé. A false library hides a closet, which used to be a secret passage.

To better keep out the ADD world we live in, guest rooms do not have TVs, but they are equipped with Wi-Fi if you feel the urge to connect.

Bathrooms are well equipped and modernized; some of them feature free-standing eagle claw bathtubs.

The estate extends across 40 hectares of parkland. Walks or bike rides through the woods are a wonderful way to pass time during your stay.

The château does not have a restaurant on site, but the village has four restaurants within walking distance, including Les Prémices, a fine dining room just outside the gate.

Something special

curlicue Classified historical monument