home to the Goulaine family for 1,000 years
Twenty minutes from the centre of Nantes, the train station and the airport, Goulaine is the first chateau visitors come to as they navigate from the estuary. Constructed in the midst of a landscape composed of marshlands and vineyards between the 10th and 16th centuries, it is now preserved from the “nuisances of urban civilisation” courtesy of its kilometre-long driveway.
Paris can be reached in two hours via TGV train.
The oldest texts show that the Goulaine family has been settled in the area since the 11th century and possibly even earlier.
Christophe II undertook the reconstruction of his family’s manor house in the 16th century, transforming it into a Loire chateau reflecting the flamboyant gothic style.
Visitors having crossed the moat are already able to appreciate the work of the stonecutters; the vaulted carriage gateway, featuring a basket-handle arch topped with four corbels adorned with acanthus leaves; the pedestrian gateway, flanked by pilasters and topped with a triangular pediment. A defensive vestige of the castle, the Archive Tower, borders the entrance. The main building stands at the end of the courtyard, flanked by two stairway towers, constructed outside the fabric of the carcass and featuring overhanging turrets. The facade of the main building is aligned with four bays on two levels. The chapel’s apse and the stairway towers have hipped gables.
Two square pavilions, behind the chateau and facing the garden, extend the facade. A stairway and a French window connect each bedroom in the pavilions to a terrace.
The garden, looking out over the marshlands, features parterres.
The chateau’s rooms are laid out as of the two courtyard stairway towers.
This chateau still has numerous 17th century painted decors in its various state rooms. Bearing witness to the decorative arts of this era, it is difficult to find their equal in France.
This level, reached via the two stairway towers, comprises large, adjoining reception rooms, enhanced with monumental, decorated fireplaces. This level is connected to three vaulted cellars. This section of the chateau is currently used for function purposes and includes a professional kitchen.
This floor is taken up by majestic state apartments. The adjoining rooms are richly decorated and their dominating hues help to name each room. Whether in the red, blue or grey room, the windows’ embrasure panels, the double doors, the wainscoting or the panelling create homogeneous results. They are adorned with allegories, portraits, floral or landscape compositions, etc. The Goulaine family coat-of-arms are featured on the trumeaux. Ceilings have exposed beams or painted coffers.
The floor surface area and layout of the attic floor are identical to those of the first floor. A monumental stone fireplace, with a painted chimney breast, is still in existence.
The Archive Tower
The Archive Tower at the entrance to the courtyard is topped with a loggia, featuring corbelling and geminated windows. It exudes the air of a belvedere and provides views stretching out on either side of the moat. Flanked by a spiral stairway tower, one of its geminated windows is set in the upper section. The interior comprises two rooms, with vaulted ceilings.
The old stables
This building, spanning a ground surface area of 290 m², features a mezzanine. It has been completely converted to house the LU Museum. Although the company is no longer present, the entire structure remains.
The Goulaine chateau is not only a historic monument, but also a place, closely connected to French history, that fires the imagination. Linked to an estate and a family, it bears witness to an art of living. The architecture and the wonderfully preserved painted decor make it a particularly rare property.
Flamboyant is the adjective best suited to the style of the facades, their combination of curves and counter-curves, light and shadow bringing the architecture alive. Acanthus leaves and vine branches stretch along the sills, foliated friezes and crowsteps top the windows, whilst the relief of the mullions and the moulded embrasures is enhanced by the setting sun.
In the 17th century, French historian and genealogist, Guy-Autret-de-Missirien, described this chateau as a sumptuous building, featuring towers, gardens, etc. that could but be described as one of the most pleasant and accomplished of Brittany’s houses.
|Land registry surface area||6 ha 30 a 2 ca|
|Main building surface area||3500 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||10|
Nadine Riant +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.