#118 Château de Sarzay
Berry (Indre), France
1348, 1440 and later
This is NOT an official Lego site

The much photographed Château de Sarzay was begun in 1348 by Guillaume de Barbançois as a major link in a chain of castles built by the French against the English invaders during the Hundred Years War. He led a force of 40 knights against the English at nearby town of La Châtre, looting the town after his victory. His castle was surrounded by a ditch and adjacent pond, a formidable curtain wall and six curtain towers, of which only the Chapel Tower survives. About 1440 Jean de Barbançois built the roughly 32 by 64 foot rectangular donjon on the courtyard. The keep was flanked by a machicolated tower at each corner, plus a similar stair tower in the middle of the east wall of the donjon. For continuing allegiance and valor for France, the de Barbançois family was given the hereditary title Marquis in 1651! The fortunes of the family gradually faded such that in December 1719 a judge adjudicated the entire Sarzay estate from the Marquis François de Barbançois to Louis Charles de la Porte of Montval - castle, village, pond, 4 dovecots [the whole shebang!]
Louis Charles and the la Porte family owned the castle from 1719 until 1836. The current entrance, a decorative ground level doorway, and the several large ground floor windows, as well as the bridge to/from the farm were apparently added in the late 18th or early 19th century during the la Porte era. These changes, evident when George Sand visited the castle and used it as her Château Blanchemont in her novel Le Meunier D'Angibault (1845), were anti-military and undoubtedly led to her correctly writing that "the castle of Sarzay...never was of a great defence". But in fact Château de Sarzay not only triumphed in the Hundred Years War, but also survived the Wars of Religion (1562-1598), the Fronde civil war of 1648, and the French Revolution of 1789! There were several owners in the 150 years that followed. In 1912 the château was designated a national monument in France but the ruin deteriorated (see lower left photo). Then in 1983 Richard Hurbain and his family bought the castle for about 800,000 francs, promising to gradually restore it. The family's efforts have been impeded by the French government for years. See Smithsonian Magazine, January 1997, pages 64-73
Old B&W photo showing
the long crack down the
south end of the donjon.
The Chapel Tower - the
only standing remnant
of the inner curtain wall.
What's left of the outer curtain
- I've no idea how old it is...
or how extensive it is.
The remnant of the moat
originally surrounded Sarzay.
An interior room.


A model of Sarzay No floor plan found


Photos of the Lego Model
Under construction November 2007
The front of the castle, with my interpret-
ation of the gatehouse.
The view over the Chapel Tower. The
Chateau door is 17th century, but I've no
idea where the original was located.
From the south the kitchen connects the
curtain tower and the chateau. I believe the
current bridge is a late entry to the castle.
The view from the west shows the
beginning of the donjon with a small
building connecting to the curtain wall.
By November 11 the gatehouse is taking
shape with the entrance protected by a
drawbridge, arrowslits and oil chute.
In addition to the rising of the Chapel, the
view from the east shows the completed
kitchen with most of its chimney.
The curtain towers are taking shape. Each
is modelled after the remaining Chapell
As work continues on the curtain wall,
the donjon will soon be rising as well.


Photos of the Lego Model
Built November 2007
The last order of red roof tiles
arrived on December 7...
and Chateau de Sarzay was
finished in just a few minutes!
It's a beautiful and well-
designed fortification.
Moated, with seven turrets
on the curtain wall alone.
Here's the view via
the gatehouse.
The chateau itself - with
central stair tower.
Important guests arrive by coach.
"Le jardin" where the castle's
vegetables are grown.


Build Your Own
Lego Plan North Elevation

Other Château de Sarzay pages [the official website and the second are
both in French but can be translated to pretty good effect]:

Return to the main castle page.

Castles created by Robert Carney
Page created and maintained by Robert Carney