After I mentioned Le Château de Carrouges yesterday, I went back to see if I had taken photos there other than the ones I'd already posted on this blog in years past (2006, 2011 (exteriors), and 2011 (staircase). It turns out that I've been to Carrouges four times, including two times before I started blogging. Carrouges is located on the southern edge of Normandy, between Alençon and Domfront, near Bagnoles-de-l'Orne.
Here are some photos that I took in June 2001, the first time I saw the place. I was with CHM and we were doing a château marathon on a drive from Rouen in Normandy back down to Vouvray in Touraine. Walt was in Vouvray waiting for us, and I had to call him on the phone three or four times during the day to give him and then modify our ETA several times. (ETA means "estimated time of arrival," in case you don't know the expression.)
In fact, the drive took us about 12 hours instead of the four or five hours that Google Maps estimates it to take. That included a two-hour lunch, of course. We admired at least half a dozen châteaux along the way, just driving by some for a quick view but getting out of the car and walking around the grounds at others. Looking at the 16th-century châtelet (the entry tower) above, at Carrouges, you can see why I was reminded of Le Moulin, which I posted about over the past three days.
It is true that Carrouges is much more formal and blocky than Le Moulin, as far as the main buildings are concerned. It is built of brick, and much of it was thrown up about a century later than the Sologne château. These buildings replaced or extended even older ones at Carrouges, I believe. They are in a more classical style, and place seems more open and less vertical than Le Moulin. It's in a beautiful setting, with it moat draining into a pond that is full of croaking frogs at certain times of the year.
Here's a shot that shows the blockiness of the place. As I said, these are photos from June 2001, and I have others from May 2005, when Walt and I visited Carrouges on our way back to Saint-Aignan from the Cotentin area of Normandy (Carteret, Barfleur, Saint-Vaast, etc.), where we had spent a few days driving around. Actually, every time I've been to Carrouges, and despite the fact that it's located in rainy Normandy, the weather has been sunny and gorgeous...