History of the Château of Champallement …

“Champallement perché sur un petit abîme. Étonnement de voir de jolies maisons et, dans un jardin, un monsieur à gilet blanc.”   Jules Renard, Journal, 24 août 1906.

- The village of Champallement is located in Burgundy in the heart of the Nièvre department 50km North-East of Nevers and 45km South of Vezelay.

Its medieval château, the oldest castle in the Nièvre region was probably built in the begining of the XIth century to defend the inhabitants of the region from the attacks of the powerful fortress of Montenoison.

The first written documents stating the château as "Campus Alemanorum", date from just before 1052. There are Gestae from the bishops of Auxerre, mentioning Geoffrey of Champallement, son of the Viscount of Nevers who was its owner.

In 1147 Hughes le Roux de Champallement became the owner of the château. Hughes left twice for the second cruisade and he died on his way back from his second expedition.

A few bishops of Auxerre came from the family of Champallement.

- In the XIVth and XVth
centuries the fortress passed into the hands of the Thianges family and after, through marriage, to the Lespinasse family. We can still admire the headstones of Hughes and Margeritte de Lespinasse on the interior walls of the medieval church of St Reverien three kilometres away. The first renovations of the château dated from that period.

In the XVIth century, all the wealth from the fief of Champallement passed into the hands of the Mortemart family, ancestors of the Marquise Françoise de Montespan favourite of Louis the XIVth.

The Marquise d'Avrincourt, daughter of the Duke and Duchess de Mortemart, owner of the estate in the middle of the XIXth century organised a lot of renovation to the château, especially to the dungeon (the actual château) adding a roof and opening windows.

The château and all the land were rented and then sold to the Morlay family who owned it until the death in 1947 of Louis Morlay, the last member of the family.

- Having no heir, the estate became the possession of the state.

The château was sold twice and became the second residence of two families. It is currently the residence of Donatienne van Caillie who has made multiple renovations to assure modern commodity whilst respecting as best she could the spirit of the place.