Culture and Heritage

The Castle of Santenay


chateau 1 de santenayDuring the 4th century this location was occupied by a castrum (a Roman military camp probably made of simple wood picket fences). It was then replaced by a fortified house (dating from 1365),owned for a century by the Vichy family, originally from Bourbonnais.

The square tower, the semicircular rampart system surrounding a courtyard, and the whole assembly protected by ditches certainly date from that period (end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century). A drawbridge gave access to the interior courtyard.

The castle was successively owned by Guillaume de Sercy (in 1481), by François de Ferrières (in 1483), and by Jacques de Ferrières (in 1526).
Denis Brulard, the first president of the Dijon Parliament, eventually bought the castle, which, in 1590, became the possession of Jean Baptiste Legoux de la Berchère, Brulard’ s son-in-law.


chateau de santenayThe two plane trees that border the drawbridge might have been planted during that period and it is said to have been a royal award granted by Henry the 4th to the Brulards at the insistence of their cousin, Nicolas Brulard de Sillery, counselor and king’s adviser.
These trees might be more than four hundred years old, and range among the most ancient trees in France.
As the last member of the Berchère family had died without descendants, Philibert Parigot bought the castle in 1739. After his death, in 1769, his two sons, Jacques and François, inherited the castle and begun significant restoration works: the removal of the northern fortification and of the lifting bridge, and the construction of a building adjacent to the tower.
In 1828 the castle’s new owner was the earl Déodat Albert chateau de santenayde Drée, the husband of Henriette Parigot, great-granddaughter of Philibert Parigot.

In 1920 the castle was sold to Claudius Guépet, a winegrower. During the 1970s one of the castle’s owners had turned some of the side buildings into a wine factory and started digging wine cellars under the courtyard with access from dried out moats.

The reconstruction of the eastern wing that collapsed during the excavation works and the roof’s covering with polychrome varnished tiles also date from that period.