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Aerial view of the estate
ChAteau de Cormatin
Behind the understated exterior lies inestimable splendour. This is undoubtedly one of the most sumptuous châteaux in Burgundy, and in addition, a Renaissance garden has been added to complete the picture.
The sculptured yews break up the symmetry as you enter this moated château. Inside, the rich and colourful interior reflects the fashion in France, and particularly Paris, during the reign of Louis XIII, a time of transition, in search of a style. Built between 1605 and 1629 by the du Blé family it chronicles the history of the arts at this time in France.
The Renaissance garden
Flemish and Italian influences were at the fore with the discovery of painters and architects from Florence and Mantoue and gardeners from Naples. These trends are reflected here and for followers of interior design and the decorative arts, the paint effects and ornamentation will be of great interest.
The St.Cecilia study is the most opulent room in the château with its decorative panels edged in gold. Gold not only displayed the owner’s wealth, it also reflected light, especially important at night when the room was lit by the glow of the fire and candlelight.
The château has been through good times and bad. It was bought in the late nineteenth century by Raoul Gunsbourg, the director of the Monte-Carlo Opera. He lavished money on it and gave the place a new lease of life, throwing parties for the likes of Nellie Melba and Caruso.
Another period of neglect followed. Ivy strangled the facades. Then in 1980 three private investors joined together to save the château. With the help of the government, they have had the interior restored, the shell of the building made sound, and then in 1991, the reconstruction of the gardens began.
Corner of the St. Cecilia study
The formal Renaissance garden has the fountain of life at its centre. Beyond is the maze with a charming wrought iron aviary. From the top of this you can get an overview of the park. The potager may inspire you to return home and take a new look at your veggie patch.
*The Château is open from end of March to Nov 11 from 10.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 17.30 but consult their website for variable times. Guided tours around the interior.
(tel: 00 33 (0)3 85 50 16 55)
Places to visit nearby