#109 Château d'Aigle
Vaud, Switzerland
~1232 and 1476
This is NOT an official Lego site

Little is known of the early history of Eagle Castle. Earliest known records show the entire area to have been part of the Holy Roman Empire. The early town was named Allio, which may have been an old Italian word for eagle. About 1232 the Counts of Savoy at the western edge of the Empire gained influence over the area, changing the name of the town to Aigle. Under the Savoyards, the Saillon family soon built the first castle on the site both as protection from the French to the west and the Swiss Confederation to the north. In the second half of the 14th century the ownership of Château d'Aigle passed by marriage to the Compey family, originally from Geneva. From 1434 to 1476 the Lord of Aigle was Jean II de Compey whose fiery reputation and friendship with Duchess Anne de Lusignan caused an attempt on his life by other Savoyard nobility. He retaliated by having several enemies assassinated, including Francois de Sales who was strangled at the château.
The Wars of Burgundy were to change the destiny of Château d'Aigle acutely. The French-speaking Savoyards, including Jean II, aligned themselves with Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, against the Swiss Confederation. In 1475 Italian mercenaries entered Vaud - on their way to aid the Burgundians. They were received by the Lord of Aigle. The Swiss Confederation, led by Bernese troops attacked the area, surrounding the castle. Jean de Compey asked for a truce, then escaped during the cover of darkness. The enraged Bernese beseiged the castle and set it afire, causing severe damage. With the defeat of the Duke of Burgundy at Morat in 1476, the Congress of Freiberg gave much of Vaud to the Republic of Bern. Aigle became the administrative seat of the area, Château d'Aigle was powerfully rebuilt to protect the western frontier, and the area became the only French-speaking part of the Swiss Confederation. The tall square donjon replaced a round tower in one corner as part of the restoration.
The Reformation came to Aigle in 1526 when the Bernese Protestants sent Guillaume Farel to the region to preach against Catholicism. By 1530 Aigle was hiring Protestant preachers and had a new liturgy - it became the first French-speaking Protestant territory. Following the Revolution of Vaud in 1798, the town and castle reverted to local hands, the Commune of Aigle. In 1804 the castle became the local Court and Prison, as well as a hospital (until 1834). The last prisoner was moved in 1972 when no one could be found to take the job of jailer. The castle and the large barn-like House of Dîme next door are a pair of wine museums.
The buildings just
inside the gate...
...and looking over your
shoulder you see this range
of buildings.
Another main doorway into the
central building, and the archway
into the outer courtyard.
The outer courtyard
(there is a large, modern
building here now)
A room in the main building
of the chateau
Drawing of the guarded
gate & Bernese donjon
The plan of the castle
after 1476


Photos of the Lego Model
Completed June 5, 2006
Here is the château from the
south. Note the cart full of
grapes about to enter
The view from the southwest
shows the Bernese donjon which
replaced a round tower
From the west the residential
range can be appreciated
The northeast view of Château
Aigle is by far the most often
seen in photographs
This picture shows the
first courtyard, including
the gate
From the southeast the first
courtyard and its buildings can
be better appreciated
This is the second courtyard,
showing the wallwalk which
protects 3 sides of the castle
Finally, the roof of the
donjon -- lots of fun to
design and build in Lego


Build Your Own
Top Down Plan
South East North Cross-section

Other Château d'Aigle pages (the 4th necessitates that
you click on "Chateaux", then "Aigle"):

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney