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4 star Chateau in Burgundy

The 13th century: the beginnings

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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.

But the Château was to be built as a royal domain: the chatelain had the right to dispense justice at all levels over Igé and several neighbouring villages.

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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, 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.

They have small openings that seem to have been used for ventilation. Did they serve as hiding places or secret passages? They are still there.

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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 until it was bought in 1972, 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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CHÂTEAU D’IGÉ - HÔTEL****
252 Rue du château - 71960 IGE
Tel. : +33 (0) 3 85 33 33 99
Fax : +33 (0) 3 85 33 41 41
contact@chateaudige.com
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