A major patrimonial site in Anjou, an official historic monument since 1931, the Château du Plessis-Bourré is a handsome building combining medieval rigor and Renaissance elegance. Constructed in only five years (1468-1473), it offers testimony to the wealth and largesse of its owner and only sponsor, Jean Bourré. Confidant of Louis XI, Grand Treasurer of the King, he gave his name to a château that has remained practically intact since the 15th century.
Open to the public since 1955, Le Plessis-Bourré is one of the rare châteaux possessing a “transition” (early Louis XVI) style. With its integrally conserved defensive system, it exudes the charm of a late Middle Ages fortress. But with its elegance, its arcaded ambulatory, its high mullioned windows and its comfortable interiors, it announces the Renaissance. It is consequently a double-faceted château that visitors will discover just a few kilometers from Angers. The medieval towers bordered by wide moats hide a vast courtyard of honor bounded by intricately crafted facades.
While the exterior has not been modified since the Middle Ages, the interiors of the Plessis-Bourré château present a broad spectrum depicting the evolution of its furnishings over the centuries. In the dining room, a rare collection of Asian-style chairs and armchairs stands alongside a Louis XV sedan chair, which was used by Catherine Deneuve in the 1970 filming of Peau d’Âne.
From an amazing Mazarin study to impressive armor, each room contains its own share of wonders. On the upper floor, with its unique coffered ceiling, the guard room is perhaps the most astonishing of them all,. Dated 1480, it is dotted with a number of references to alchemy, thereby bearing testimony to a philosophy of natural life that achieved renewed prominence during the Middle Ages.
Since its erection more than five centuries ago, the Château du Plessis-Bourré has known a number of changes in ownership. In 1911, Henri Vaïsse was won over by the imposing Anjou structure. His nephew, of whom today’s proprietors are among the descendants, were instrumental in opening the château to the public. Since 1955, it is with passion and in a spirit of sharing that each year, its authentic and familial character is perpetuated as numerous special events enliven the signally historic heritage castle: Easter festivities, the Rendez-vous aux jardins (garden gathering), Napoleon days, the international night of the bat, the tourney of the order of Saint Michael, Halloween and the Christmas market. These different activities and performances suitable for persons of all ages showcase the site.
Open for all and addressed to each visitor, the château of Plessis-Bourré is a venue where families are welcome to discover chapters from the history of France within the high tufa walls of an ancient yet contemporary source of education and pleasure.