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Castle Menard – the chateau of the Marquise de Pompadour, located in the Loire Valley and acquired by her in 1760 for huge money (a million livres) from the heirs of the wealthy tax farmer Guillaume Charron. It was he who built the castle in 1646. In 1669, the castle was inherited by his son Jean-Jacques, who ordered two wings of different sizes to be erected on the sides of the castle. In 1676, Louis XIV granted the owner of the castle the title of Marquis. Pompadour expanded the castle with the help of the royal architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel. He changed the shape of the roof and erected two pavilions: the pavilion of the Clock, connected to the castle by an underground passage, and the pavilion of Meridian, in which the gatekeeper was located. After the death of the Marquis, the castle passed by inheritance into the hands of her brother, who commissioned the famous Jacques-Germain Soufflot to modernize the castle. He added a basement to the castle building and added a mansard roof to Gabriel's pavilions.
In 1804, the castle was acquired by the Empire Marshal Claude-Victor Perrin. The dilapidated building by this time was restored and became a venue for lavish festivities and celebrations.
Two decades later, Prince Joseph de Riquet de Caraman founded the Pritaney educational institution in the castle, which was accessible for young people of different nationalities and income. During this period, a new building and a small gas factory were completed, thanks to which the college had its own gas lighting.
The castle is surrounded by a wonderful park, the improvement of which has continued for many decades. In the second half of the 17th century, French-style lawns, canals, fountains and alleys were tripled; in the 18th century, sculptures from the rich collection of Marigny appeared in the park. A terrace was built in front of the castle, and garden buildings appeared in the park, which responded to the trends of the then fashion. A copy of the statue of Venus from the Medici collection by J.-J. Clairion is now installed in the park. Not far from the castle, in the east, there is a circular platform with a Chinese-style gazebo designed by Charles de Vailly. In the depths of the park, next to the spring, there is a grotto with nymphs in the Italian style.
Castle Menard – one of the few castles in the valley closed to the public.
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Topic: Chateau de Menard in France, Loire Valley resort.