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The château

In the heart of the town’s historical centre,

Clearly visible behind the railings, is the silhouette of the Château de Maintenon. The building would probably have remained anonymous had it not been for its famous owner, who was to leave her mark on the site forever – Madame de Maintenon, and with her, the Sun King himself, Louis XIV.


The history of Madame de Maintenon is the stuff of fairytales. The widow of the poet Scarron, Françoise d’Aubigné, was initially appointed as governess for the illegitimate children of the King and Madame de Montespan. After several years of tireless devotion to her work, she earned the recognition and then the love of the Sun King, and they secretly married. The “secret wedding” was not so secret, however: it was the talk of the Court, and the news even reached the Pope, who sent the couple wedding gifts. The story of Madame de Maintenon is one of a governess who became King's wife!


The château bears witness to the remarkable ascendancy of Françoise d’Aubigné. It underwent a series of major transformations to meet the needs of the Court and the King: the grand gallery between the château and the church was built to protect the Absolute Monarch from bad weather on his way to mass. It was also at this time that Le Nôtre redesigned the grounds, creating a magnificent landscape dominated by water – perhaps to make up in some way for the lack of water at Versailles…


The tour of the château is in two parts:

The first part of the tour

Here you will discover the 17th-century apartments of Madame de Maintenon and Marshal Adrien-Maurice Duke d’Ayen then Duke de Noailles.


The second part of the tour

This takes place in the small 19th-century apartments designed by Duke Paul de Noailles and his wife Alicia de Rochechouart de Mortemart, the King’s room or former bedroom of Louis XIV at Maintenon, and the large 19th-century apartments followed by the gallery inspired by Louis Philippe’s grand galleries at the Château de Versailles and the Château d’Eu.


Visitors can then take a stroll in the French formal gardens and walk to the aqueduct.