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Castle of the Madeleine

History of the castle

Dominating the town of Chevreuse, over the edge of the plate, the castle of the Madeleine is built in the medium of XIe century. Occupied a long time by the English during the One hundred Year old war, it represents a stake disputed during the Middle Ages. In XVIe century, the baronnie of Chevreuse is set up in duchy by François Ier for his favorite Anne de Pisseleu. Wishing to increase the park of Versailles, Louis XIV acquires the castle, which it yields thereafter to the Ladies of Saint-Cyr military school. With the Revolution, the field, already in ruins, is sold like National Bien. Property of the department of Yvelines since 1981, the castle accomodates since 1989 the House of the regional Natural reserve, installed in buildings with innovative architecture. Archaeological excavations updated remarkable domestic objects.

The castle is composed of a rectangular keep shouldered by powerful buttresses built in XVe century, at the time of its rehandling. Round towers are distributed on the enclosure, like the tower of the Guards, on the left of the châtelet of entry. At the interior, three rooms present beautiful vaults, with the radiant veins starting from a central pillar. Overhanging the enclosure, a covered way is arranged between two square towers and reveals a sight privileged on Chevreuse and the valley of the Yvette. Only this covered way and the House of the Park is visited.

Several successive enclosures, connected to the ramparts of the castle of the Madeleine, enclosed the old city. The first enclosure in masonry, built during the One hundred Year old war between 1380 and 1420, preserves some vestiges. Bored of four principal doors, it was marked out turrets and broadside of a broad ditch. One second enclosure, built in 1562 and 1598, is always visible, including the Yvette and the vegetable gardens.

With the pleasant authorization of the regional Natural reserve of the High Valley of Chevreuse.

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