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Chateau de Vayrestourist information guide
Address: Vayres, 33870
Tel: +33 (0)5 57 84 96 58
Opening Times: Jul-Sept:daily; Rest of Yr: Suns & bank hols | Admission Charge
Chateau de Vayres is perhaps the most sumptuous of all the Gironde chateaux. It stands on the banks of the Dordogne and is a mixture of buildings from different epochs combining medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. This may sound all too much but the combination works well to form a harmonious whole.
Chateau de Vayres held great importance as a stronghold during the Middle Ages when the King of Aquitaine was the Duke of Aquitaine. In 1287, the region passed to the Albrets of Gascony, who in 1326 allowed King Edward II of England to strengthen the fortifications of Chateau de Vayres.
Chateau de Vayres was plundered during the Hundred Years War which prompted Henri de Navarre (the future King Henri IV of France) to sell the castle to Ogier de Gourgues, Bordeaux's minister of finance. It was under Ogier's watchful eye that vast construction work was undertaken. Louis de Foix was the commissioned architect who was already known for his work during the French Renaissance. Foix retained the medieval structures on the RHS of the Cour d'Honneur and lightened them with Renaissance windows. Foix also designed a corps de logis in the newly emerging Baroque style. Baroque architecture is echoed on the inside of the Chateau in the vestibule in the form of an alterpiece.
Unfortunately, Chateau de Vayres was again plundered in the mid-17th century
when Marc-Antoine de Gourgues, Baron of Vayres joined the Fronde against the
Crown. Reconstruction began in 1695 when the Palladian style and cascading
front steps were added. Chateau de Vayres's present owners (M and Mme
Paul Dubost) are responsible for the magnificent parterres on the garden side.