on a 29-ha estate, 120 km from Paris in the Champagne region
Some 60 km from Provins and about 20 km from Montmirail and from Épernay, the champagne capital.
Standing on its medieval motte in the midst of the village of Montmort-Lucy, in the Marne department, is one of the most beautiful gems of the Champagne-Ardennes region.
Behind the fortress, landscaped parklands, featuring 8 alleyways laid out in a star-shape, an ice-cave and a spring-fed lake. Renovated following the occupation and destruction inflicted during the First and Second World Wars, Montmort castle is an authentic, miraculous survivor amongst the local historic heritage monuments.
This Renaissance castle was constructed on the foundations of a medieval fortress. It spans three levels under an attic floor. It is protected by a dry moat crossed by a stone bridge, with three arches. Access is controlled by a drawbridge. Four square bastions protect the defensive plateau on which the castle stands. One of the bastions, the most outstanding, houses a spiral stairway surrounded by a brick-covered track (a spiral ramp for horses), this being defended by a brattice. The second bastion known as the “pavillon à pain” (bread pavilion) once housed a bread oven. The third pavilion, known as “la repasserie” (ironing pavilion), is followed by the fourth or “Lynk” pavilion.
The castle is flanked by four round towers (at the four points of the compass), redesigned in the 15th and 16th centuries. All the facades are faced with brick and their many windows are framed with white stone surrounds. The roofs are covered with slate. The main doorway, a work of Renaissance art, features its original door, reinforced with iron fittings.
The main Renaissance-style entrance door opens into a corridor leading to a large room known as the “salle des gros piliers” (room with large pillars), under a cross-ribbed vaulted ceiling with hammered keystones. This area is embellished with a monumental stone fireplace. It features exposed brick walls, terracotta floor tiles and indoor, oak wood shutters. This room opens into one of the four converted towers, this one in use as a cloakroom. Its floor is paved with stone, with inlaid decoration, just like that of the dining room under its cross-ribbed vaulted ceiling. The walls are lined with oak wood panelling, featuring linenfold motifs. This room opens into a little kitchen, housed in a tower. A study, under a cross-ribbed vaulted ceiling, with Versailles and herringbone pattern parquet flooring, is enhanced with a carved wooden fireplace and floor-to-ceiling oak wood panelling as well as a wood-burning stove. A toilet is housed in one of the towers. A vast kitchen cuisine, under a cross-ribbed vaulted ceiling, is paved with stone and has a stone fireplace. It is followed by a little kitchen-larder in one of the towers.
A consecrated and privileged chapel is partially included in one of the towers, the high, stained-glass windows of which flood the little altar with light.
A suite comprising a bedroom, enhanced with Versailles pattern, oak wood parquet flooring, wood panelling and a fireplace, inset with enamel tiles, an adjoining bathroom and a small study in the tower. A state lounge, paved with stone featuring inlaid decoration, has walls lined with panelling painted with large canvasses depicting the “seven corporal works of mercy”. They are attributed to painter Sébastien-Bourdon. The coffered ceilings are also painted (Renaissance-style grotesques). Two statues representing Prudence and Temperance flank a monumental fireplace, the trumeau of which bears the image of Henri III. The adjoining tower houses a little gilded toilet, enhanced with Cordoue leather. The last room (undergoing restoration) is the “courtesy room”, with Versailles pattern parquet flooring. The adjoining tower houses a little library, also with Versailles pattern parquet flooring.
A suite, with a bedroom, a dressing room and a bathroom.
A landing and a corridor provide access to a total of nine bedrooms, including two possible suites with bedrooms in the towers. The first has Versailles pattern parquet flooring, panelling and a marble fireplace. A little bathroom and a smaller bedroom, with herringbone pattern, oak wood parquet flooring, a marble fireplace and a wash-hand basin. On the landing, a bathroom. In the tower, a little bedroom, with terracotta floor tiles, wall panelling and a fireplace. A bedroom, with strip pattern, oak wood parquet flooring, panelling and an 18th century marble fireplace. A bedroom, with Versailles pattern, oak wood parquet flooring, is embellished with a large, carved wooden fireplace. A bathroom. Three small, adjoining children’s bedrooms, with oak wood parquet flooring, one of which has a wooden fireplace. A last bedroom, with oak wood parquet flooring, panelling and an 18th century fireplace. A little, adjoining bedroom is housed in the tower.
This level, with its sloping ceilings, comprises a landing with a water supply point, a corridor as well as bedrooms and/or utility rooms. A games room, a room/bedroom, with a water supply point, a bedroom, overlooking the parklands, and a large room, looking out over the street, two adjoining rooms (one of which is housed in a tower) and three small rooms in the other towers.
The old, medieval castle
This two-storey building is flanked by a dovecote which looks down on to the vegetable garden. The facades, with their mullioned windows, are constructed from stone and the roof covered with tiles. The carcass in a good state of repair.
The inside of the castle awaits restoration. An entrance hall provides access to a room, embellished with a monumental fireplace, decorated with coats-of-arms depicting two birds, palm trees and a scallop shell, in reference to the pilgrims making their way to Santiago-de-Compostela. The openings are protected by indoor wooden shutters. A dining room, a kitchen, a back kitchen, a study, a corridor, a toilet and a boiler room (oil-fired boiler).
This level, awaiting restoration, comprises four bedrooms, including one known as the “chambre d’oignons” which was, no doubt, once used to store onions. An anteroom, a toilet and a bathroom.
The three entrance pavilions
In the centre: the postern. This entrance porchway is constructed from stone under a tile roof. Two rooms are laid out above the porchway. One of the other pavilions is the old caretaker’s cottage. Constructed from stone, it comprises three rooms with oil-fired central heating. A well is topped with a scallop shell, also in reference to the pilgrims.
The third pavilion is used as a workshop-garage.
The old stables
Now converted, these currently house the Resistance Museum.
The castle’s old theatre
Constructed from stone and covered with tiles, this building is currently used as a function room (approx. 90 m²) with a pantry, a machine room, a toilet and a shower.
The open barn
“A delightful pandemonium of turrets, weathervanes, gables, dormers and chimneys” is how Victor-Hugo once described Montmort castle.
The Champagne region is proud to include such a listed, architectural gem that has belonged to several generations of the same family, the members of which have cherished the memory and the magnificence of the premises.
This medieval fortress is but waiting for new enthusiastic and committed owners ready to take up the torch.
|Land registry surface area||29 ha 53 a 69 ca|
|Main building surface area||1000 m2|
|Number of bedrooms||11|
|Outbuilding surface area||500 m2|
Seine & Marne
Corinne Angeli +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.