Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chateau D'Urfé Revisited July 2012

Chateau d'Urfé was built, like many other chateaus, in the 12th century.  It was started around 1130 by Arnoud d'Urfé and was born of rivalries between the Count of Forez, the Sire of Beaujeu and the Bishop in Lyon.  The area was also involved in the 100 Years War when the English allied with the Bourbonnais against the monarch in Paris.  It was enlarged to be more comfortable in the 16th century, as chateaus were out of date with military technology and power had consolidated under the king by that time.  The chateau was inhabited until about 1790 and the time of the French Revolution, when neighbors started to dismantle it and use the stones to build other structures.

The Association for the Preservation of Chateau D'Urfé does a good job of bringing in people as visitors and also for public events, like the tango concert and dance performance fundraiser below.

The Association also organizes summer volunteer work camps, in connection with the French organization Rempart which has two work sessions per summer to do restoration projects.

At 927 meters of altitude, Chateau D'Urfé has views over the Loire Valley (to the Alps on a clear day) and to the volcanic domes of Auvergne to the west seen in the sunset below. It lies at the intersection of three provinces/ Forez-Roannais; le Bourbonnais, and l'Auvergne.

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