Monday, June 25, 2007


On Thursday last we visited this magnificent chateau which dates back to the 14th century with extensive rebuilding in the 17th century and the reconstruction of a wing in the 18th century. The Rochefoucauld family still live in the chateau although the current Duke lives and works in Paris using the place as a holiday retreat. His mother, the dowager duchess lives permanently at the chateau.

It is a magnificent structure with many interesting architectural features including tall round towers and Renaissance galleries.

My particular interest however was in the libraries, of which there are four plus an archive room and a map room. These libraries house some 21,000 volumes, they are open for half an hour each day and although one was not allowed to handle the books they certainly made an impressive collection. Fortunately for me I was there with Mike Crump who until he retired was Director of the British Library in charge of their Rare Books Collection and he was able to appraise me of the makeup and value of the collection.
Pic at right shows me outside entrance to one of the libraries.

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