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Discover the history of Château de Serrant through the centuries

The history of this castle located in Anjou is as rich as it is fascinating. The individuals who lived within its walls since the Middle Ages have left an invaluable cultural and architectural heritage. The castle guides welcome you and narrate from room to room the most remarkable anecdotes of Serrant.

Du Moyen-Âge à la Renaissance

From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

The lordship of Serrant has existed since at least the 13th century. In 1481, the Brie family obtained permission from the King of France to fortify their residence. The moats still bear witness to the dominance of the medieval fortress.

In 1539, Péan de Brie, returning from the Italian wars, decided to rebuild his castle in the spirit of the Renaissance. For this, he enlisted the help of a famous Angevin architect, Jean Delespine. However, serious financial setbacks left him no choice but to interrupt the work: only the staircase, the North tower, and half of the main building were erected.

Le classicisme


Between the end of the Renaissance and the Revolution, the history of Château de Serrant is marked by its multiple owners, who brought modifications to the site that are still visible today.

Guillaume II de Bautru

Guillaume II de Bautru, a State counselor and academician, acquired the domain in 1636. He took an interest in the plans of his predecessor and decided to continue the work according to the original plan: the central body and the South tower were completed. A century separates the constructions, but who can notice the ruse when the architectural program of the 16th century is so faithfully followed?

His son continued the work by adding two perpendicular wings, as well as two pavilions at the corners of the courtyard and a monumental gate in line with the castle. At the end of the 17th century, the sumptuous chapel was built as an extension of the South wing of the castle.

The Bautru family also built the stables, the dovecote, and the grand Orangery, now a reception hall for weddings and corporate events.

Au XVIIIe siècle : les exilés

In the 18th Century: The Exiles

In 1749, the last descendant of Guillaume II de Bautru, widowed and childless, sold the domain of Serrant. A family of Nantes shipowners by the name of Walsh acquired it. This old Irish family had voluntarily exiled themselves to France in the 17th century to demonstrate their unwavering loyalty to the deposed Stuarts. Following a remarkable social ascent, François-Jacques was ennobled as the Count of Serrant in 1754. He embellished the domain by creating a large English-style landscaped park and commissioning Louis XV-style furniture and woodwork, still present 250 years later...

The Walsh family hosted prominent figures at Serrant: Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria, sister of Marie-Antoinette, Napoleon I and Josephine, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, and even the Duchess of Berry were received for lavish dinners.

Despite the revolutionary turmoil, the Walshes preserved their domain from pillaging and damage. The monumental honor gate still bears their coat of arms topped with their emblem: a wounded swan, pierced by an arrow.

Les fastes des La Trémoïlle

The Grandeur of the La Trémoïlle Family

In 1830, Valentine Walsh de Serrant married Duke Charles-Bretagne de La Trémoïlle. Thus, one of the oldest families in France (with a genealogy dating back to the 11th century) became intertwined with the destiny of the castle. From 1894 onwards, their son, Louis-Charles, and his wife, Marguerite Duchâtel, entrusted Lucien Magne with the complete restoration of the castle. The layout of the rooms and interior decoration were also reconsidered, while preserving the original furniture and mementos of the previous families. This was also an opportunity to modernize the interior: an elevator, central heating, electricity, running water, bathrooms, and toilets were installed during this time.

The Duke and Duchess, avid collectors and art enthusiasts, adorned their castle with tapestries, paintings, vases, and precious furniture that are still in place today. The Duke notably created an immense library of 12,000 volumes, now classified as a Historic Monument.

Une propriété princière

A Princely Estate

Today, the castle remains a private and inhabited residence. Through several marriages during the 20th century, the castle now belongs to a Belgian princely family: the Prince and Princess of Merode. They reside on-site year-round and strive to preserve and maintain the entire estate. The task is immense: almost every year, a restoration project begins. These endeavors would not be possible without the thousands of visitors who pass through the centuries-old gates of Serrant to admire one of the most beautiful private collections of antique furniture and artworks in the Loire Valley.

Contact Château de Serrant in Maine-et-Loire for further information. You can also find practical information for visiting the castle.

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