France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Château de La Rochepot, Burgundy, France
If you're looking for a fairy-tale medieval château, La Rochepot fits the bill!

 
   

 

You approach the Château de La Rochepot via a narrow winding road in Burgundy, surrounded by trees and shrubs. You've left, for now, the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune, though they're not far away. Located just 17 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Beaune (map), the Château de La Rochepot makes a nice excursion that can be combined with a visit to some vineyards.

You round a corner and Voila! In front of you, alone in the woods, is the beautiful Château de La Rochepot, with its tiled roof and many turrets.

Chateau La Rochepot, France

Park and walk up the hill, and you'll soon pass over an imposing drawbridge into the courtyard. You can buy your tickets and then enjoy the gardens in the inner courtyard.

  Tiles, Chateau de la Rochepot, France
  Above, Intricate tile work.

A self-guided tour allows you to visit several rooms in the Tour Marlot, as well as the Chapel. It also includes the Watch Paths, some of which offer lovely views of the nearby valley and a chance to see some of the tile work up close. The colors and designs are typical of Burgundy.

A new (2014) exhibition in the Chapel includes photographs that illustrate the reconstruction of the Château, which started in 1893 when it was purchased by Mme Cecile Sadi Carnot, wife of the then-President of France, Marie François Sadi Carnot.

In addition to the self-guided tour, group guided tours are also available, and must be booked in advance. Tours are generally conducted in French, though English and German may be accommodated, and printed descriptions are available in other languages. These tours may include the Guards' Room, the Kitchen, and the Dining Room, in addition to the areas covered in the self-guided tour.

The building itself is remarkable. The Chamber of the Captain of the Guards boasts walls that are nine feet thick! The rooms contain period furniture, as well as displays of arms and armor. The kitchen is home to two large fireplaces, as well as various cooking pots and serving pieces. At its height the Château would have fed hundreds of people, from servants and soldiers to Lords and Ladies.

The Château de La Rochepot has a long history. Originally built about 1180 by Alexander of Burgundy, fire destroyed it in the 13th century. The Chapel was all that survived of the first building and the new Château was built on its location. An important addition was a well, built in 1228 and measuring 72 meters (236 feet) deep. You can see it during your visit.

The Château de La Rochepot owes its name to the Lord Régnier Pot and his grandson Lord Philippe Pot. They were both Knights of the Golden Fleece and loyal advisors of the Dukes of Burgundy. Philippe went on to become the Grand Seneschal of Burgundy, a royal officer. He died in 1493 and his carved tomb is in the Louvre.

Subsequent owners included Anne de Montmorency, Marshall of France, and Cardinal de Retz. Over the years it began to decline, and after the French Revolution it was declared a national property and scheduled for demolition. Fortunately, Mme Sadi Carnot intervened and saved the property, which underwent extensive restoration.

The Château has limited visiting hours, generally from the end of April until the end of September (except for Mondays and Tuesdays), and is closed between noon and 2:00 PM. You may wish to confirm the hours before visiting.

Château de La Rochepot
21340 La Rochepot, France
+33 (0)3 80 21 71 37

 


Excursions in Burgundy

About Beaune

Côte de Beaune

About Dijon

About Burgundy

Route des Grands Crus

Burgundy Food & Drink

Burgundy Wines

 

 

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Chateau de La Rochepot, France

Above, Towers and tiles, Château de la Rochepot, Burgundy.

Below, Imposing drawbridge entrance of the Château.

 

Chateau de La Rochepot, France

Chateau de la Rochepot, France

View of the Château from the gardens.


 
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