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Château de Gien: from a defensive fortress to a royal hunting castle

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Château de Gien: from a defensive fortress to a royal hunting castle

In the picturesque area of the Laura Valley, on the Jacques Coeur tourist route, there is an interesting Château de Gien. Beautiful and full of game, the Orleans forests are a great location for a royal hunting lodge. The first French castle, built during the Renaissance, will be a great addition to the sights already seen. A rich history, preserved relics and amazing nature will forever remain in the heart of every traveler!

The history of the hunting castle

The history of the first Château de Gien begins in the 8th century. The need to protect the land and civilians from enemy invaders prompted Charlemagne to build a castle-fortress. In 1178, it was completely destroyed due to internecine war. Later, in 1199, Philip Augustus restored the castle and added it to the king's personal domain.

Gien lost its military significance by 1484, and at the request of the daughter of Louis XI, Anne de Beauje, it was rebuilt into a royal hunting residence. The castle belonged to the royal dynasty until the terrible events of 1789-1799. In 1823 it became the property of the Laura department.

During the Second World War, the building was severely damaged, and only in 2012 the lengthy restoration of the Château de Gien began, which lasted until 2017. During the restoration work, it was possible to recreate the interiors of the interior, decorative fragments of the facade and conduct archaeological research.

Architecture and interior decoration

The architecture of the building is quite simple. The main materials used in the reconstruction were brick and local limestone. But despite this, from the windows of the castle an amazing panorama of the Orleans forests opens up, soothing with its beauty. The main building, built on the sunny side and with large windows, is constantly filled with bright light, and the inner courtyard of the castle is interestingly decorated with 3 quaint octagonal turrets with spiral staircases.

Today, every traveler can enjoy not only the classic French architectural style of the Renaissance, but also appreciate the unique composition dedicated to hunting with guns. In the Château de Gien, you can see both the simplest examples of firearms and more complex ones designed for hunting big game. The highlight of the exhibition are exotic versions of weapons, which had an unusual design and were used for hunting from a horse. The masterpiece of the collection, however, is the shotguns richly decorated with mother of pearl, ivory, precious stones and shells.

An exhibition of more than 75 works by the animal painter F. Deport is located on the second floor of the Château de Gien. Pictures show hunting scenes and the best trophies of Louis XIV.

Interesting fact

€ 9,000,000 was spent on restoration work on the restoration of the Château de Gien, carried out from 2012 to 2017.

Object type: building.

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