The dancer (detail of a painting by Watteau)

Toward the middle XVIth century, Louis, First Prince of condé (1519-1565), a member of a collateral branch of the Bourbon family acquired the castle, leader of the Protestant party during the terrible religious wars that began during this time, he was the uncle of the future King Henry IV, and his presence made Condé a site of great political consequence.


Then, toward 1700, the castle was acquired by an exceptionally powerful and wealthy personage, the Marquis de la Faye, Courtier at Versailles during the last years of the Sun King's reign (Louis XIV died in 1715), Stockbroker, Ambassador in England, Administrator of the lucrative trading Company of the Indies, the Marquis could afford to transform his castle into a major showpiece for the arts of his time.


The actuals owners are a descendant of the Count Claret de Fleurieu, Minister of Marine under Louis XVI in the 1780's.

This place is a very ancient one. Since the time of pre-roman civilisation, the village of Condé was lived in. In 500 BC. the "Senones" fought nearby a battle against the "Condruses". Traces of this presence have been found in the village and in the Château itself, which was probably a gallo-roman land estate. As a matter of fact, ancient pavement of roman times exist under the present pavement of the chateau.


The castle derives its name from the confluence of two rivers, the "Surmelin" and the "Dhuys" which merge before feeding the river "Marne", that was a waterway which led up to Paris.


The last heir of the House of Coucy, Marie de Coucy, moved in with her husband the Count of Bar in the 15th century. Condé was passed down through marriage to the House of Luxembourg and in 1487 Marie de Luxembourg married François de Bourbon, Count of Vendôme. Due to this marriage, the family came into contact with the royal family. Their son, Louis de Bourbon, being the uncle to the future king of France, Henry IV. Louis was the first Prince of Condé and as a child would frequently come here to hunt.


The Cardinal de Bourbon rebuilt the castle in Renaissance style in the 16th century. The two gatehouses are the testimony of this time. The gatehouse on the right was inhabited by the Captain of the Castle; it still contains an underground jail with an exceptional locking system. The one on the left (now a barn) was the house-keepers lodge. The castle was one of the strongholds of the Prince de Condé, who was chief of the Protestant party during the religious war in France. His wife, Eleonore de Roye and her children often came here to get away from the troubles.


The confiscated castle was bought in 1719 by a private secretary of the King, whose name was Jean-François Leriget, Marquis de la Faye. He was councillor to the king and a diplomat. It was him who was in charge of finding a wife to the young King Louis XV.




The Marquis was a member of the French Academy, a director of the French Company of India, and accordingly was a very rich man. In his mansion in Paris he often received such famous people as Voltaire and Crebillon.


Much of the castle's final appearance is due to the Marquis' tastes. He brought to Condé the talents of the Italian architect Servandoni, a master of the "deception" style and one of the architects of the Farnese Palace in Rome. He shut down the southern aisle, to allow the sun to penetrate in the rooms, and gave a symetrical appearance to the other aisle. To achieve this he was obliged to paint false windows in the medieval part of the Castle, the walls being 2 meters thick. For the interior decoration he invited fashionable painters of the time - Lemoine, his disciple Boucher, Watteau and his disciple Lancret and last but not least Jean-Baptiste Oudry.


At a later date the castle belonged to the Count de la Tour du Pin Lachaux, through his marriage with the niece of the Marquis de la Faye. In 1814, the Countess de Sade, the daughter in law of the famous Marquis de Sade inherited Condé from her cousin La Tour du pin. Since this time, and up to 1983 the castle has remained the property of the Sade family who restored it with much care, after the two World Wars.


The presents owners, Aymeri, Alice and their mother Madame Alain Pasté de Rochefort are descendants of the Count Claret de Fleurieu, Minister of Marine under Louis XVI in the 1780's and of the Captain of the private guard of the first Prince of Condé and who continue his work. Your friendly visit contributes to it.