Saturday, 17 May 2014

The chateau at Berzé-le-Châtel ravaged by fire.

There is a quite superb mediaeval chateau in Berzé-le-Châtel, you can see if for miles around and it is the last landmark I see as the train nears Mâcon TGV station on my trips back from the UK, the definitive sign that I am almost home. Imagine my horror when I saw in the paper that there had been a huge fire on Thursday night that had completely destroyed the Burgundian style roof.

The fire brigades from as far away as Charolles (40km) and Le Creusot (70km) had attended. Just looking at the photos, that I have taken from Le Jourmal de Sâone-et-Loire website, you can see what a huge fire it was.

The chateau is not open to the public as people live in it, but you can have a guided tour of the grounds, the ramparts and the chapel. To be honest it is one of the most interesting tours I have taken of a chateau, the guide explains the defences of such an imposing construction, how the different walls, moats, gates and twisted internal passages combine to make such an edifice almost impenetrable.

During the weekend, I managed to talk Cees into going to see what was left of the castle. We set off into a thunder storm, which seemed quite appropriate considering the sombre mission. We neared the castle and could just make out its form through the driving rain. We parked and waited for the rain to pass and to our surprise we saw the castle in all its glory! No charred ruin at all.

Maybe the paper had exaggerated the extent of the damage. We headed off round the other side of the hill to see the roofs from a different angle. Still no sign of the damage. It had only been three days since the fire, there was no way that they had managed to repair the roof. So we headed up the hill to the castle entrance and we saw tourists with their umbrellas up touring the ramparts, but no sign of even the remains of a bonfire.

Considerabley confused we headed home and paused for one last photo, which seemed to show that part of the roof had recently been replaced. That must be it, after all it is an historical monument, maybe the National Architect had managed to come out and get someone in quick to construct a temporary (but very good looking) roof over the damage to prevent further deterioration of the building.

On arriving home, all was revealed. We re-read the newspaper article and we now realise that there are two chateaux in Berzé-le-Châtel, the mediaeval one and one that is a wine chateau. And guess what? Yes, you are right, it was the wine chateau that had the fire. No less upsetting for the owners of course, but at least “my” chateau was still in one piece even if I hadn’t believed with my own eyes!

For more information on the beautiful castle in Berzé-le-Châtel clck here or for details of our gites nearby, click here

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...