Verrerie (Chateau de La Verrerie*) is a castle in the commune of Oison in the Creusot region, about 2-3 hours from Paris by high-speed train with transfer or car. It was built in 1485 almost on the spot where there was then a small glass factory called “La Verrerie” and located on the shore of a small lake, which gave the name to the castle. Not without interest is the fact that this factory ceased to exist in 1815-1820.
However, the history of the castle began as early as 1422, when the French king Charles VII, as part of the “Court Alliance” between France and Scotland, granted the County of d’Aubigny-sur-Ner to John Stewart, Earl of Darnley, Constable of Scotland, who fought valiantly at the head of a small detachment of Scottish knights in the battle of God (in Anjou, 1422) during the Hundred Years’ War.
At the end of the 15th century J. Stuart’s grandson, Bero Stuart, upon his return from the Italian campaign, built the main building, which continued the chapel. Later, Bero Stuart, on the orders of King Louis XII, went on a secret mission to the Scottish King James IV and died in Edinburgh in 1508. The main building was subsequently connected to the Renaissance Gallery built by Robert Stuart (comrade in arms with the famous Bayard) in 1525 .
In 1670 the last Stuart d’Aubigny died. La Verrerie at that time was the seigneur of the English king Charles II, who descended from J. Stuart. King Louis XIV of France did not recognize this and, as provided for in the act of donation of King Charles VII, La Verrerie passed into the possession of the French crown.
However, by decision of the Council of March 18, 1673, Louis XIV returned this land to the King of England, Charles II, in a descending direct and male line, a descendant of J. Stuart. In the same year, Charles II presented the lands of the Duchy of Aubigny (including the castle of Verrerie) to his mistress and lawful wife, Louise Rene de Penance de Kerualle, who received the title of Duchess of Portsmouth.
In 1684, Louis XIV, at the request of Charles II, who wanted the land of his Stuart ancestors to return to the bosom of the family, awarded Louise de Kerualle the title of Duchess d’Aubigny. After the death of Charles II, in 1685, she finally returned to France and took possession of her castle, where she died in 1737.
The son of Louise and Charles II – Charles Lennox, Duke of Lennox and Richmond, back in 1734 inherited the seigneury d’Aubigny and the castle of Verrerie, but did not want to live in it and left for England, where he served the family of Orange and was the chamberlain of King George I. His descendants, the Dukes of Richmond, mothballed La Verrerie Castle. On May 25, 1842, the castle and the lands of d’Aubigny, put up for sale at auction, were acquired by Leon de Vogüé, who settled his large family there. He had long been master of the lands and forests of the Cher department.
In 1892, the Marquis Louis de Vogüet invited the Parisian architect Ernest Sanson to work in the castle, and in 1895 the south wing was built, where today there are reception areas and part of the bedrooms.
February 24, 1926 the castle of La Verrerie became one of the objects in the register of historical monuments.
In 1960, Count Antoine de Vogüé, mayor of the commune of Ouzone (since 1953, general councilor of Cher since 1964) and his wife, nee Françoise d’Hautcloc, intended the castle for tourists, and in 1962 they themselves finally settled in lower floor of the north wing.
In 1965, A. de Vogüe opened the castle for tourists and connected it to the Jacques Coeur Road. It was founded in 1954 and received its name in 1961 after the banker, merchant and shipowner Jacques Coeur (c. 1400 – 1456). The founding members of the road were the owners of the castles of Culan, Meuillant and Aney-le-Vie. This French tourist road is located in the departments of Cher and Loire (Centre – Loire Valley region) and passes through the territory of the old province of Berry and the natural regions of Peilly – Fort, Sologne and Guyenne; the route from the very beginning was called “The Ring of Castles of the Heart of France”. The road is part of the National Federation of Historic Roads and since 2010 the association of owners of private castles “Routes of Jacques Coeur” has been headed by the owner of the castle La Verrerie in the rank of president.
In 1978, A. de Vogüet’s wife opened the La Maison d’Helene restaurant, which was renamed Le Bon Garcon in 2010.
In 1982, she also initiated the opening of guest rooms, and she herself lived in a spacious room behind the restaurant and called the “Big Oak”.
On January 27, 1987, some ancient parts of the castle were classified under the title of “historical monuments”: facades and roofs of a small fortified castle (chalet) and the main building of the eastern building, dated to the end of the 15th century, the castle and gallery of the 16th century, as well as facades and roofs of the 19th century.
In 1993, the son of Antoine de Vogüet, Count Bertrand de Vogüet and his family, after a long stay in Canada and the USA, returned to France and Bertrand became the owner of the castle, restaurant and 12 hotel rooms, took over all family affairs and became president of Jacques Coeur Road “.
It should be noted that the main building of the shuttle and the posterns were built in the Renaissance style under Bero Stuart, the grandson of J. Stuart, at the end of the 15th century. The south wing with the gallery – also in the Renaissance style – was built for Robert Stewart and Jacqueline de la Caille and added by 1525. The spiral staircase was built in an unusual place. All these modifications and enlargements of the area of the castle were reconstructed in 1894.
Today, the castle successfully hosts a program of a series of prestigious concerts and works of classical music called “Musical Meetings of La Verrerie” with the playing of the concert piano “Steinway”. Such famous musicians as Frederic Agassi, Rasha Arodaki, Giovanni Bellucchi, Jean-Jacques Kantorov, Cyprian Katsaris, Vagan Martirosyan and many others performed at them.
* Note. There are two castles with the same name.