History of the Chateau
In the 19th century, the Count and the Countess of La Rochefoucauld-Bayers constructed a grand Neo-Gothic castle on their La Potherie Estate. They commissioned Parisian architect Louis Visconti, famed for designing the Louvre extension, to replace the original 16th century castle. The owners chose Rene Hode, a well-known Angevin architect to oversee the building project. Construction began in 1848 and was completed in 1854.
The chateau was designed to commemorate the passing of time. Its 4 towers represent the seasons, 12 turrets represent the lunar months, 26 spiral staircases represent the fortnights per year, 52 fireplaces represent the weeks of the year, and 365 windows represent each passing day. It covers an area of 7,600 square meters (nearly 82,000 square feet.)
Unfortunately, Count La Rochefoucald died before the project’s completion. Following the death of her husband, Ida de la Potherie, Countess of La Rochefoucauld-Bayers, oversaw the final stages of construction.
Ultimately, the chateau became one of the grandest private French homes of the 19th century. It boasts a wealth of architectural detail, including intricate woodcarvings, Gothic panelling and sculptures, large working fireplaces, and hand painted ceilings. It is situated on a beautifully manicured estate, which occupies one corner of a quaint village. Because of the property’s ambiance and the design of the castle itself, Chateau Challain is often referred to as the "Neo-Gothic Jewel of Anjou" or "Le Petite Chambord.”
In 2002, the Nicholson family purchased Chateau Challain and began the painstaking process of restoring the castle to its original splendour. Together with an international team of craftsman, the Nicholsons continue to restore, preserve, and protect this valuable piece of French history.
Chateau Challain now welcomes overnight guests, day visitors, and those planning special events. The chateau is located in the Loire Valley, 90 minutes from Paris by TGV (High Speed Train), and 40 minutes from the airport in Nantes. Chateau Challain is the ultimate venue for your destination castle wedding or your romantic holiday in France.
Proceeds from all bookings at the chateau support the maintenance and restoration of this historic monument.
Castle Bed and Breakfast
The Chateau is now open for both overnight guests and day visitors, and also hosts wedding receptions and other events, your chateau holidays in France. The Chateau de Challain is located in the Loire Valley, the region of Castles, and only one and a half hours from Paris by TGV (High Speed Train). The Castle is also easy to reach from England and Ireland by flying direct into Nantes airport.
Chateau Challain is the ultimate destination for your destination Castle Wedding or Romantic Bed & Breakfast holiday in France. The castle features a number of special features, including a neogothic interior design motif, wood sculptures, Gothic paneling and furniture to accent the rooms along with large fireplaces, and French painting on the ceilings. Starting with the stables in 1859, then the modern farm and the vegetables garden in 1870, there have been many special additions made to the Chateau’s exterior, making it an idyllic setting for any romantic getaway or French holiday.
All bookings at the chateau donate to-wards the cost of the renovation of this Historic monument.