This is a 700-year-old château that was almost submerged when a dam was built downstream on the Dordogne river in the late 1940s. It survived when the decision to limit the size of the artificial lake created when the dam was finished. The Michelin Green Guide remarks that the château de Val thus commands un site de toute beauté. It ended up standing on a little rock island in the lake, and a walkway or jetty was later built so that pedestrians could cross over to the island.
In 1946, when the dam construction began, the family named d'Arcy who owned and lived in the château was expropriated by the French government. The plan was for the château to be flooded. The d'Arcy family left, taking all the furniture with them. When the waters rose but didn't flood the château, it was left unguarded. Burglars broke in in 1949 and pillaged and plundered the place. The château de Val is a survivor. My slide show runs for less than two minutes.
The slide doesn't work for me.ReplyDelete
There is a series of hydroelectric dams on the Dordogne River. The first one, built in the '30s, is the Marèges Dam, directly downstream from the Bort-les-Orgues Dam Ken is talking about here. Below Marèges is le barrage de l'Aigle where I worked as an assistant photographer to hide from the Germans. There is at least another dam downstream.
Finally, the slide worked, but it takes forever to load!Delete
It loads without much delay on my computer and Walt's. And on my tablets. Who knows why?Delete
Difficult to believe that the government would think there was nothing wrong with flooding this chateau. I’ve read comments on TripAdvisor saying there was nothing inside worth seeing. Now I know why, thanks.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this. I was curious about the interior. I guess the family didn't move back in. It's a beautiful chateau. Nice slide show.Delete
The château de Val is owned by the neighboring town of Bort-les-Orgues, and the town has a web site about it here.Delete
The slideshow loaded normally on my iPad.ReplyDelete
how sad...imagine being told that your house was going to be drownedReplyDelete
Another delightful set of photos!ReplyDelete
I wonder if there is more to the story than this...I'm also curious about where the family moved and whether they return to mourn their lost chateau. It is very strange and rather sad.ReplyDelete
Here's a site that gives more detailed history of the château de Val. It seems to have had many owners over the centuries. In other words, it isn't one of those places like the château de Cheverny that's been owned and taken care of by the same family for centuries. The d'Arcy family owned it from 1898 until they were expropriated in 1946.Delete