The castle of Apremont (Fr. Château d’Apremont) is a castle built on a rocky promontory which dominates the valley in the department of Vendée in the region of Pays de la Loire. This building has been classified as a historical monument since September 30th, 1975.
Located 1 h 1 min (67.3 km) via D117 from Nantes.
The estate belongs to the commune which received it as a bequest in the 1960s from Mr. and Mrs. Georges Thébault.
The current building, which connects the two towers, now houses the town hall of Apremont, open for public.
Apremont is built on the same site on which once stood a medieval eleventh-century fortress with a polygonal plan, of which part of the ramparts remain, a châtelet of ‘entrance which still bears the traces of a drawbridge, an underground cooler, which had the function of preserving food.
Built between 1534 and 1542, at the request of Philippe Chabot de Brion, admiral of France and friend of François I, only the ruins remain today of this Renaissance castle which clearly show the period of transition during which it was built between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Indeed one can observe various characteristic elements of the architecture of the Middle Ages: the shape and the thickness of the walls of the two towers (between two and three meters), the presence of several gunboats and loopholes …
It is interesting to note that there are also characteristic elements of the Renaissance, or at least at the very beginning of the Renaissance: facade of the central body organized geometrically, the presence of sculptures of an antique character (pediments, Ionic capitals, friezes, columns, etc.).
It is important to add that under this castle, built on a block of schist, a passage called “cavalier vault” was carved, unique in France. This bridle ramp, which went up 20 meters, made it possible to stage the arrival of visitors, making them really go from shade to light.
In the chapel, a permanent exhibition has been installed: it retraces the history of the castle through a film and an optical theater; a reproduction of the Rouleau d’Apremont, parchment which bears witness to the activity around the region in the 16th century, is also presented there.
In 1622, Louis XIII stayed there on his return from the battle of Riez.
The Count of Olonne, Charles-Paul-Sigismond of Montmorency-Luxembourg, ordered the building to be demolished in 1733 because it had become too expensive to maintain. The stones were sold to builders in the region, part of which was used for the construction of the Pirmil bridge in Nantes.
The castle is open to visitors: the east tower, the chapel (which hosts exhibitions), the cavalier vault (main entrance in the sixteenth century) and the park.
GPS coordinates: 46°44′57″N 1°44′29″W
Address: Le Place du Château, 85220 Apremont, France
Adult – €4.80
Child (12-16) – €3.