A family outing to Dampierre-sur-Boutonne château

A family trip to the château at Dampierre-sur-Boutonne

Looking for ideas for visits with children in Charente-Maritime.  Don’t miss the must-visit château at Dampierre-sur-Boutonne on the Route Historique des Trésors des Charentes.  Your family will love this jewel of Renaissance architecture, in its delightful, proud, verdant setting.

A château that’s rich in history

A listed monument, the château of Dampierre was built in the 15th and 16th centuries on the site of a Templars’ priory.  Construction took over 50 years.

Château Dampierre-sur-Boutonne

Today, all that is left is a quarter of the original, its Renaissance heart.  Architecturally at a crossroads between a French château and an Italian villa, this jewel has been completely restored.  Visit the magnificent double gallery erected against the façade of the building.  In the upper gallery, look up and admire a unique construction: a ceiling with sculpted casings that show alchemic, mythological and esoteric motifs.  These remarkable, mysterious sculpted stones have created the renown of the château.

But these are not the only evidence of the wealth of history.  Over the centuries, science, music, art and culture have permeated the walls of this Italianate dwelling.  Famous monarchs, prestigious families and celebrated artists have left traces of their visit: François 1er, Louis XIII, Salvador Dali …

The visitors’ trail enables you to travel through the historic periods that have marked the château.  If you take the guided visit, you will learn about the interior of the château, furnished with unusual items and decorated with superb paintings.

Family visits to the château at Dampierre-sur-Boutonne

This is an exceptional estate, filled with serene nature where you can enjoy a delightful break with your family.  The château is open year-round and is an ideal spot for those treasured family moments while discovering the history of Vals de Saintonge.

You can visit the château traditionally (with a guide or on your own) but to maximise your enjoyment, the château has arranged several trails for children that are included in the entry fee.

These fun-filled trails enable the visitor to explore the château and the gardens whatever the season with adults and children becoming explorers!  Explore the château and the estate and resolve the puzzles that will lead you to the treasure.  Search for fabulous animals throughout the trails or discover the secrets of the legendary King Arthur.


Wander through the gardens of the château of Dampierre

The natural world surrounding the château of Dampierre-sur-Boutonne is magnificent, just like the exceptional estate!  Little islets set in a meander of the Boutonne grant a magical atmosphere to the château. A maze of bridges leads to the gardens of the château.

Well-tended gardens à la française invite the stroller.  Have a go on the giant chessboard.  Search for your path in the box-maze.  Wander along the pathways that criss-cross the 5ha poplar woods, home to the varied wildlife and flora, both protected and wild.

Lunchtime already?  Set out your picnic in the country garden just behind the château.  Enjoy the idyllic green setting just right for dreaming, basking in the sun or contemplating the beauty of the surroundings and sounds of nature: wind in the leaves, birds chirping, water lapping, the sounds of people walking on the gravel…  Harmony and tranquillity accompany this delightful break.

And at teatime, enjoy a drink and a pastry in the salon de thé that will bring an end to your visit

An exceptional setting with a culturally rich programme

Claude Catherine de Clermont, duchesse de Retz was a frequent visitor to the château, with her court of musicians, literary and poetic figures.  She made this dwelling a forerunner of modern-day artists in residence.

Today’s owners intend to maintain and share this cultural identity.  Year-round, a rich programme of events animates the château and its park: concerts, music festival, dinner in white, plays …

And there’s a permanent exhibition of works by Salvador Dali in the heart of the château.  Fascinated by alchemy, he was an enthusiast for the château’s upper gallery and that is why he donated several works to the château.

Many artists have been invited to display their work in the château.  The owners also host temporary exhibitions of their own paintings, sculptures and other objets d’art collected over the years.

These events happen throughout the year and enable the visitor to see the château and its gardens in a new light.

The cultural programme is available on the château’s official site

To enjoy your visit to the Vals de Saintonge, don’t miss out on a weekend in Aulnay-de-Saintonge!