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The history of the château

Eight centuries of history!

Over the centuries, the Château de Maintenon has undergone a series of transformations, the early defensive fortress gradually giving way to a comfortable, modern aristocratic residence.

 

The most significant changes were carried out in the 16th century by Jean Cottereau and in the 17th century by Madame de Maintenon. The relationship between Madame de Maintenon and King Louis XIV favoured the renovations and extensions to the château. In the 19th century, Duke Paul de Noailles and the architect Henri Parent changed the façades surrounding the cour d’honneur. Duke Paul de Noailles and his wife Alicia de Rochechouart de Mortemart modernised the château and added modern comforts. Monsieur and Madame Raindre, descendants of Duke Paul de Noailles, inherited a property that had been badly damaged during the Second World War. They committed themselves to restoring it to its former glory.

 

The lords of Maintenon

Records attest to the existence of a château in Maintenon since the 13th century. It belonged to the Amaury line, the lords of Maintenon, and would remain in their possession until the 16th century when the family ran into financial difficulties and was forced to sell the fortress.

 

Jean Cottereau

The seigneurie was bought by Cottereau, a financier and Intendant of Finance under King Louis XII. He renovated the château and extended it considerably, and it was then passed down his family line.

 

Madame de Maintenon

In 1674, Françoise d’Aubigné, the future Madame de Maintenon, bought the entire estate, including the château, land and farms, thanks to the generous financial support she received from King Louis XIV. She hoped to retire there in her old age. The main extensions to the château from 1686 onwards are linked to the building of the aqueduct and the King’s visits to the château. After 1688, Madame de Maintenon no longer stayed there.

 

The Noailles and Raindre families

In 1698, Madame de Maintenon, having no direct lineage, left the estate as a dowry to her niece Françoise Amable d’Aubigné on her marriage to Adrien Maurice, Duke d’Ayen then Duke de Noailles. Thereafter, the château remained in the Noailles family.

 

In 1983, Monsieur and Madame Raindre, current owners and descendants of the Noailles family, bequeathed the estate to the Maintenon Foundation to ensure the preservation of this magnificent heritage.

 

The Eure-et-Loir General Council

In 2005, the Foundation asked the Eure-et-Loir General Council to take over the running of the château.

 

Today, the Eure-et-Loir General Council is responsible for all aspects of the site’s upkeep, management, use and activities.