On the shores of the Cher, the château of Selles-sur-Cher offers a true journey through time. Over the course of a thousand years, a one-time medieval fortress has undergone one destruction and reconstruction after another.
The history of the Château de Selles-sur-Cher goes back to the Middle Ages with construction of a fortified château marking the permanent installation of a castle on the shores of the Cher river. It was only starting in 1604, however, that the edifice reached a turning point and achieved abiding prominence. After a brilliant career as ambassador of France for King Henri IV, Philippe de Béthune acquired the ruins of the medieval castle, which he viewed as the perfect setting for life as a retiree and reception of his many entitled friends. Plans for the 17th-century château were drawn up by Jacques II Androuet du Cerceau, one of the designers of the place Royale in Paris, today’s Place des Vosges. In that epoch, with its two square pavilions and two thirty-meter-long wings, the château of Selles-sur-Cher was one of the largest in the Loire valley.
At the outset of the 18th century, the château was acquired by Cardin le Bret, who was in all likelihood responsible for planting the cedar of Lebanon that can still be contemplated in the château park; this exceptional tree has been awarded the “Arbre remarquable” label.
In 1880, the Château de Selles-sur-Cher passed into the hands of the Moulinet d’Hardemare family, whose members carried out large-scale restoration. A little over a century later, during the 1990s, their descendants divested themselves of the château, which subsequently underwent hard times; it was pillaged and fell into abandon. Quite fortunately, its renaissance was just around the corner; in 2012, a group of volunteers harboring a passion for history and heritage repurchased the property, restored the château, and opened it to the public.
Today, the château of Selles-sur-Cher is a theater for special events and festivals. Embracing modernity, the château offers visitors a 3D visit with a digital tablet through which they will discover the different epochs the castle has traversed and to get to know how it has evolved. All in all, a fantastic immersion in the lengthy history of a building listed since 1585 as a historic monument.
Last but not least, the château of Selles-sur-Cher possesses an 800-year-old winegrowing tradition. By planting vines, the proprietors have reintroduced wine culture in the heart of the château.
- Average duration of the individual visit : 03h00
- Group educational visits
- Average duration of the group visit : 03h00
- Panneaux : French
- Parlées : French, English, Chinese
- Specific theme activities
- Temporary exhibitions
Full adult price : € 14.50
Discount rate : € 9.00
Child rate : € 9.50
Annual subscription pass : € 10.00
- Credit Card
Services and equipments
- Play area
- Picnic area
- Bar / refreshment bar
- Fully equipped meeting room