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The name of the Heritage Day in France is: „Journée de patrimoine“, or rather „Journées“, plural, because the Saturday is included. This year I only took advantage of the Sunday. I went with Alain and Jeannine, who lives in a village nearby. I still don’t have a car and it would have been difficult to see as much as I did, if I’d had to go by bike. And the others wouldn’t have been able to go by bike anyways. Driving with Alain’s car was much more social. And he let me drive on the way back. Because I love to drive cars.
At first we went to Saint-Pierre-du-Mesnil where we saw Blanc-Buisson Castle.
Blanc-Buisson Castle was built in 1290, in the reign of Philip IV of France. The castle is a rare example of the defensive architecture of the Late Middle Ages in the Pays d’Ouche. In 1355 the castle was attacked and nearly destroyed. After 1470 it was inhabited again. In the following seven centuries everything went well for the castle. The owners changed only three times, two times because of marriage and only once because it was sold.
The castle was built for the family Collinet-Lecomte. The Collinets-Lecomtes want to keep themselves as well as their peasants safe. The main building was built of sandstone. It is shaped like an L. At one side stands a quadrangular Donjon. The donjon bears five bartizans and it’s difficult to enter. There is only one narrow stairway. On the sides of the stairway are embrasures and holes to pour hot oil or pitch on the advancing enemies.
Every castle has a legendary escape way under it. A dark and narrow passage that leads to the fields or a forest or wherever. Even he one I’m guarding.
There are lots of embrasures in the defensive wall of Blanc-Buisson. On three sides are small defensive towers on the wall (see it’s triangular somehow). But the moat is fivesided like a pentagon. Two draw bridges lead over the moat.
Since around 20 years the castle belongs to the family La Fresnaye. They restored the buildings as good as they could. The young man in the following video is the son of the owner.
To make a bit of money for further restorations, the owners host exhibitions, concerts and renaissance festivals.
1949 the castle was added to the French list of protected historical monuments. The building was changed a bit during the centuries, especially in the 18th century.
The author Jean de la Varende wrote about the castle in his novels. He called it „La forêt claire“ (the bright forest).
We’ve been hanging around in the kitchen for quite some time. Alain had restored their historical kitchen spit rotating machine and knows the owners.
I liked a relief best, that I found hanging over a fireplace in one of the upper rooms of the donjon. It looks like 16th century.
Afterwards we continued our Heritage Day tour and went to Chamblac.
Second entry in the Base Mérimée (French)
Franck Beaumont, Philippe Seydoux: Gentilhommières des pays de l’Eure. Editions de la Morande, Paris 1999, ISBN 2-902091-31-2, S. 310–312 (French).