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Sculpture facade - Photographs by Pelletier and Martin


Architecture of the Château du Pailly

The form of the castle dates back to the 16th century: trapezoidal fortified wall, water-filled moats, circular corner towers and rectangular keep. The keep's walls, more than two meters thick, are built with embossed stone blocks.

The work undertaken by Gaspard de Saulx-Tavannes added magnificant Renaissance highlights to the chateau's defensive features such as drawbridges and embrasures for cannon. It may have been the work of Nicolas Ribonnier, architect for the Duchy of Burgundy, who was active in the region.

Today the Château du Pailly has three wings in a U-shape, dominated by the keep, which is visibly much older than the rest of the castle. The exterior facades are those of a fortified castle, apart from the large windows that were added at a later period. In the past, the water-filled moats surrounded the building on all four sides. Three corners of the castle had circular towers, while at the west corner, a Renaissance tower was the main entrance for the site. The existence of a fourth wing enclosing the courtyard is confirmed by the remains of its extremities and by the archeological digs which have uncovered its foundations. The square courtyard has three clearly distinct facades. The balcony on the northwest facade links the southwest galleries to the norteast stairway tower, which contrasts strangely with the keep to which it is attached.

This majestic and original ensemble is rather heterogeneous and seems to have been extensively modified. Was the castle once covered with an Italian style roof terrace? The roof is supported by arches underneath.This system of construction may seem absurd in the Langres region with its harsh climate. However, various inventories and archeological descriptions allow us to assume a roof covering made of flat stones.

The castle was devastated during the Revolution and knew many other trials, before the Du Breuil de Saint-Germain family renovated the northeast wing, the turret in the courtyard and some of the chimneys.


Extract from the bulletin n°290 of the S.H.A.L. 1988.