Friday, 15 January 2021

Chateau de Nitray

The 16th century Chateau of Nitray, near Athée sur Cher was built on the site of an older castle, most likely dating from the 13th century. This new chateau was commissioned in 1506 by Aimery Lopin, a very high ranking judicial officer attached to the court of King François I's mother, Louise of Savoy. Architecturally, Nitray is very typical of high status houses being built at this time.


Former stables, Chateau de Nitray, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The former stables, now winery.

The complex consists of the main house, 16th century, oriented east-west, and a number of outbuildings, gardens and courtyards. The eastern facade looks out over gardens, the western side on to the main courtyard. On the southern side of the courtyard is an older pavillion, from the 15th century, as are the other buildings forming the western boundary of the courtyard. The main entrance to this courtyard is flanked by two towers, the southern one having been turned into a chapel. To the north-west a dovecote with a well preserved interior completes the ensemble. 

Dovecote, Chateau de Nitray, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The dovecote.

On the ground floor of the outbuildings there was stabling for seven horses now transformed into a winery. The estate has made wine for at least 250 years and today produces AOC Touraine wines. Upstairs there is a reception room which will seat 200 guests [link].

Chateau de Nitray, Indre et Loire, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The main chateau block and the hunting pavillion.

The chateau was purchased in 1955 by the Brebart d'Halluin family, after the previous purchaser defaulted on paying the balance after auction. From 1967 to 1977 Etienne d'Halluin had an arrangement with his friend, pilot and aviation mechanic, poet, violinist and ceramicist René Fournier, and light planes were constructed on the estate. From 1989 the d'Halluin's son in law Count Hubert de l'Espinay took over the running of the estate and has concentrated on improving the wine and bottling and marketing it directly rather than supplying it in bulk to a co-operative.

Simon wrote earlier about the aviation history of the chateau [link].


For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 


chm said...

In France, there are gazillion interesting chateaux, whether for their architecture or their history, or both!
I googled images of Nitray and here is what I found, I thought it was Célestine or Claudette,,athee-sur-cher,center,france

Carolyn said...

I've been following this series with interest. We've driven in the Athee sur Cher area on a white road running right along the Cher and glimpsed interesting roof lines over hedges or walls. Thanks for all these closer looks.

Looking at the map I can see the road we took along the Cher but can't figure out exactly where we got on it coming from the east or where we got off at the west end. There seem to be some very grand houses along this riverside road, as well as some tiny weekend cottages. I liked the feeling of seclusion along here.

Susan said...

LOL. It sounds to me as if you drove down the cycle path :-)

Susan said...

I haven't seen that photo! It's definitely not us though.

Carolyn said...

We've asked our rental cars to take some rough roads, but a bike path close to a river's edge is not one we'd dare to try!

I managed to find the white road along the Cher on google maps. You reach it on rue Fontenay and drive past the Chateau de Fontenay. Prepare to make a sharp left when you get to the river!,0.9613462,3a,75y,325.31h,83.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1st8DYh48cYl-GX9WohdG0NQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Susan said...

LOL. I thought that's where you were talking about. Trust me, it's the cycle path. It is now, at any rate, even if it wasn't when you ventured along it.

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