Located in the heart of a pleasant park, let yourself be seduced by the charm of the birthplace of the Marquis de Lafayette, the hero of both worlds. Take the time for a visit to transport yourself to the heart of the 18th century and discover the park, one of the rare gardens in Haute-Loire, a true oasis of greenery with exceptional botanical diversity.

The castle of Chavaniac-Lafayette,

the Manor of the Two Worlds

Push open the doors of History... The mind and heart of General Lafayette are more present than ever in his home where voices take you back in time and lights guide you to the heart of this castle. The walls tell the story of his life, his happy childhood in Chavaniac, his marriage to Adrienne de Noailles where, as for a play, the stage was set and the characters brought together to stage this great event.

You will be allowed to enter the secret world of Freemasonry to which Lafayette will be faithful throughout his life. In the 18th century gallery, the philosophers of his century will take the floor to express their opinions on the fight against slavery, a theme dear to Lafayette. Then, you can open the doors of Madame de Lafayette's living room and discover 18th century style decor, arabesque wallpaper panels, “Versailles” parquet flooring, restored furniture; all this in a very feminine atmosphere.

Finally, in a small theater recreated in the style of the 18th century, you will attend the screening of the film where his wife Adrienne recounts the American Epic of the General and his fight to free the people of the new world from the yoke of England.

7 centuries of history

In the 14th century, Chavaniac, a locality of Gallo-Roman origin that became a lordship, belonged to the bourgeois of Langeac: the Suat. It was at this time that the construction of the manor dates back to, which was undoubtedly originally only a “fortified house”.

The Château de Chavaniac Lafayette interior view

During the visit, you will discover the Marquis de Lafayette, you will take the corridor to discover in the Haute-Loire room what his childhood was like. You will continue your visit to the Treasure Room, then it will be Lafayette's birthplace and the marriage of our hero which will decide his destiny.

At the end of the 1701th century, it was destroyed by fire. Rebuilt in 1708, we can easily imagine that the new building was enlarged to become a castle. The castle, which entered the Lafayette family through the marriage of Edouard Motier de La Fayette and Marie Catherine Suat de Chavaniac in 6, is particularly known for being the birthplace of the Marquis de Lafayette, born September 1757, XNUMX.

Lafayette would become famous for his intervention in America during the American War of Independence (1775-1783) and his participation in the two French Revolutions (1789 and 1830). His contribution to these great events gave him the nickname “heroes of both worlds”. From 1791, Lafayette had the Château de Chavaniac modernized by the architect Ambroise Laurent Vaudoyer assisted by the painter Albert Ancica.

The main facade facing north is flanked by two towers 15 meters high and 20 meters in circumference, topped with campaniles. The construction dominates a valley: Lafayette will plant an avenue of lime trees and elms, ash trees and poplars, a kilometer long which will present the castle to travelers coming from Paulhaguet.

The ordinary architect of the historic monuments of Haute-Loire, Achille Proy ensures the management of the final ones and a garden architect draws the perspectives: a rose garden, an English garden, and plants the species which, today, make the park a rarity .

PRACTICAL TIPS

Who was the Marquis de Lafayette?

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette was born on September 6, 1757 at the Château de Chavania. He was a French officer and politician, famous for his involvement in the ranks of the American insurgent army (1777-1783), then in the liberal and reformist wing of the French aristocracy (1784-1792), finally in the liberal opposition to the regime of the July Monarchy which he had nevertheless contributed to establishing during the Three Glorious Years.

He died on May 20, 1834 in Paris.

Where is Chavaniac Castle located?

The castle is located in the town of Chavaniac-Lafayette, about twenty minutes from Puy-en-Velay.

Who owns the Château de Chavaniac-Lafayette?

In 1989, the Château de Chavaniac and its park were listed on the Supplementary Inventory of Historic Monuments. In the 1990s, the Memorial embarked on a new path of development. Thanks to the help of the General Council of Haute-Loire and the sponsorship of the Merck Sharp Chemical Company, a new museography replaces the old Historial. In 2009, in agreement with the association “Lafayette Memorial” the Château de Chavaniac Lafayette becomes a departmental property, managed by the General Council of Haute-Loire.

How long does the visit last?

It takes around 1h30 for self-guided tours of the castle and park with booklet and audio guide. Dramatized visits, led by actors from the Alauda company, are also organized.

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