13th century château hotel in Burgundy

The 13th century : the beginnings

The long history of a château seeing the light of day in southern Burgundy in the Middle Ages is rarely devoid of rough patches.

The Château was thus threatened right from its inception. A legal document dated September 1235 and bearing the seal of Louis IX, later to become Saint Louis, tells us that the powerful Abbaye de Cluny was to try in vain to prevent the Count of Mâcon, the Lord of Igy, from undertaking or pursuing the construction of a fortified manor, in spite of the rights the monks insisted they had over the land.

The owners of the domain of Igy are at the beginings, Alix of Macon, (last Countess of Macon and cousin of Blanche of Castille and  Alienor of Aquitaine) and John of Dreux, Count of Dreux and of Braine, who is a troubadour known in the name of John of Braine. It is still possible to find 4 songs of him.

John of Braine goes to Crusade and died in 1239. Alix of Macon made install a dog in stone on the roof symbol of fidelity. The dog still warns the domain. Alix of Mâcon didn't want to get married again and decided to sell the castle to the King of France and retired in an abbey. She became the first Abbess of Notre-Dame du Lys. She died there in 1260.

The Château became a royal domain: : the chatelain had the right to dispense justice at all levels over Igé and several neighboring villages.

The improvements in the 18th century. The mystery of the tower.

After providing us with this information, the Igé Annals published in 1936 by the Mâcon Academy reveal that while the Château now has only five towers two of which are in an outbuilding, it actually had six at one point in its history. In the 18th century, shortly before the Revolution, the two fine towers standing at the north and south corners at the western edge of the garden were built. The south tower served as a chapel.

In the structure of one of the three towers that have withstood the ravages inflicted by man and by time, there lies an enigma: the shafts running through the thick walls, which start from the ground floor to the top floor, are wide enough to hide a man or let him climb up and down, but have no access to the outside. Maybe they have been used as hiding places in case of danger or like secret passage. They still exist.

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The trials of the Revolution (1789), the decline of the Château, and its renaissance

The Château was one of the first in the Mâconnais to suffer the wave of insurrection triggered by the fall of the Bastille in Paris on July 14. On July 26 it was sacked and pillaged, the fine trees were cut down and a barn destroyed. Hunted by the revolutionaries, the lord of the Château and his wife chose to flee into the neighbouring woods. It must be said that even before this year, a fierce conflict had sprung up between the chatelain and the villagers regarding a well that part of the population claimed to be common property, whereas the lord maintained he had ownership of it. In fact, it appears that neither of the parties, in conflict before the bailiwick of Mâcon and then on appeal before the Paris Parliament, was completely in the wrong. Whatever the case, an enclosure built around the well to prevent or limit access to it was destroyed by the assailants. Later, according to the annals, the band spread out over the surrounding area and the châteaux of Saint Maurice, Clessé, Péronne and Montbellet were pillaged and more or less sacked. The châteaux of Lugny and Senozan were burned to the ground.

It was to commemorate this occasion that in 1989, the road leading to the entrance of the Château’s estate was renamed the rue du 26 juillet 1789.

The Château was more or less left in its abandoned state.

Since 1972, it was bought, restored and converted into a luxury hotel.. Guests may find, in an authentic setting for a gastronomic stopover, the charm, both mysterious and familiar, of the Middle Ages.

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