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In the heart of Burgundy, which was once the scene of so many battles and power struggles, the region's chateaus have had to endure many assaults and reconstructions. From the banks of the Yonne bordered by the Nivernais Canal, Mailly could still be mistaken for a fortress as it firmly rests on its rocky base at the edge of a cliff. This grave and powerful appearance conjures up the 13th century from the depths of time. But change of scenery lies behind the walls since the 19th century brought light and comfort to the spaces without erasing the property's history. The 21st century added the finishes touches to the ensemble with a dash of modernity which further adds to the inescapable sense of fullness. The Château de Mailly has laid down its weapons and is now open to all. There remains just one invincible feature: the breath-taking view over the valley and the meanders of the Yonne.
We ended up here, somewhat by chance, in the spring of 2002 and never left. The countryside is beautiful, bucolic, unspoiled and relatively uncrowded, bar the occasional barges that navigate the canal. Vézelay is just a stone's throw from our property along with other medieval towns such as Noyers and Montreal. The Chablis vineyards are close by and Paris is only 2 hours and 20 minutes by train from Mailly-la-Ville.
Once a fortified bastion perched on the edge of a cliff, the Château de Mailly was built by Countess Mahaut de Courtenay in the 13th century. It is still surrounded by medieval ramparts and enjoys a breath-taking view of the Burgundy countryside overlooking the Yonne and the Canal du Nivernais. Within the fortified walls, five buildings are arranged around a central courtyard. The oldest of which are the vaulted cellars which date back to the Middle Ages; they have now been converted into suites. One of the buildings was erected in the 19th century above the cellars. Opposite are the outbuildings, two adjacent 17th century buildings, the ground floors of which originally housed the stables and the servants' quarters were on the first floors. Two pavilions recently transformed into living spaces are located on either side of the courtyard at the back.
The Château de Mailly has lived through six centuries of war. The property's geographical location, with a cliff edge at the front and a ravine to protect it at the back, meant it was a stronghold that was easy to defend and above all difficult to attack. It was nevertheless destroyed once during the Hundred Years War and again during the French Revolution. In the 13th century, Countess Mahaut de Courtenay, daughter of a cousin of King Philippe Auguste, repelled the repeated attempts of neighbouring counts to conquer the stronghold. In the middle of the 15th century, Captain Fort-Epice and his army of mercenaries fought off the British to take control of Mailly-le-Château. The last occupant of the premises, Denis-François Angran d'Alleray, fell victim to the Reign of Terror and was guillotined in 1794 for sending money to his children living abroad. The current main house was built by the Heurtebise family in 1848 who bought the ruins of Château de Mailly at an auction after the Revolution. The property remained with the Heurtebise family until we bought it in 2002.
A place steeped in history. A discreet property furnished with a collection of antiques that has been amassed over a lifetime. A park adorned with beautiful, tiered gardens, offering a wide variety of terraces and outdoor spaces that boast breath-taking views of the surrounding countryside. An eighteen-meter heated swimming pool located on a projecting promontory that enjoys one of the most panoramic views in the region.
Local products are available in the village markets on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Open only to pedestrians and cyclists, the Nivernais canal towpath is perfect for discovering the beauty of the Burgundy countryside. It is bordered by coral cliffs where hiking trails winding along the peaks. The Rochers du Parc and the Rochers du Saussois are popular climbing spots. The Auberge des Tilleuls, a restaurant on the banks of the Yonne in Vincellottes, is a must. The semi-cooked foie gras is delicious, and nothing compares to the sea bass and the “unlimited” chocolate mousse. The Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant at Château de Vaultde Lugny, the Louis XIII, offers a more formal setting. In fine weather, all meals are served in the garden. Les Caves de Bailly, home of the Crémant de Bourgogne, is the place to discover and taste the different Crémants de Bourgogne and local Chablis wines.
The property can accommodate management seminars for up to thirty-three people. The meeting room is equipped with an overhead projector and internet access. Thirteen rooms are available for on-site accommodation. Three minutes from the chateau is an elegant 19th century residence that can complete the ensemble on request. Overlooking a terraced garden, it consists of eight bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as communal living areas.