This owner was Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a Marshal of France in the late 17th century. Vauban was an unparalleled military engineer and strategist of his time. He was a pioneer in the mortar’s development, the bayonet rifle and the iron-barreled cannon. Following his success in the siege of Maastricht in 1675, King Louis XIV awarded him a considerable amount of money, with which he purchased the château and its estates near his childhood home, St-Léger-Vauban.
The gallery of the Château de Bazoches became the nerve center of Vauban’s military plans. It was here that he planned his strategies and fortification designs, using intricate models featuring bastions, moats, and ravelins. Vauban knew the revolutionary changes to weaponry made the traditional, feudal fortifications of many French cities and castles vulnerable to attack. There are about 300 French cities that owe their design to Vauban, including Bayonne, Lille, and Dunkirk. His methods of siege craft and fortification were revered and emulated for almost 100 years.
When he wasn’t plotting military strategies, Vauban liked to write his “Idlenesses”; books on subjects as diverse as agriculture, science, and currencies. It was at Bazoches that he penned his famous “Royal Tithe”, a protest against the privileges of the upper classes and the unfairness of the taxation system. He published the book without royal permission, resulting in his subsequent fall from grace in the last few weeks of his remarkable life.
A tour to the Château de Bazoches will fascinate military enthusiasts. Walk through the grand gallery where Vauban made plans that were put into effect all over France. Also visit the library of this beautiful stately home, containing over 5,000 books.
An excursion to explore the château and its spectacular views is a fitting end, or beginning, to the Classic Cruise aboard French Hotel Barge L’Art de Vivre. Whether it is your first taste of Burgundy or a repeat visit to this beautiful region, we’re sure that a trip to Bazoches will not disappoint.
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Up to 8 guests
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