Château de Fontaine-Henry, by Pierre-Apollinaire Oilliamson

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The Château de Fontaine-Henry, located in the Normandy region of France, is a historic monument with a storied past that dates back to the early 13th century. It was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries on the foundations of an earlier fortress built by Guillaume de Tilly, in honor of his cousin, Henry II of England. The château is renowned for its intricate Renaissance facades and lavish furnishings, as well as having one of the highest roofs in France.

This château has remained within the same family lineage for over 800 years, currently owned by the descendants of its early owners, the comte and comtesse de Olliamson. The current lord, Marquis Pierre-Apollinaire d’Oilliamson, actively maintains the château and has opened it to the public for tours, including VIP tours that allow visitors to delve deep into the chateau’s rich history and even access the roof for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The château’s architecture is a testament to its evolution over the centuries, featuring elements from the Gothic period as well as styles from the reigns of Charles VIII to Henri II. It has a chapel dating from 1200 and a Salle des Gardes (Guards’ Room) constructed during the Tilly family’s occupation. The château also played a significant role during the D-Day Landings in 1944.

The Château de Fontaine-Henry is not only a reflection of French history through its architecture and art but also through the lineage of families that have lived there, including the d’Harcourt, Cornulier, and d’Oilliamson families. Its long history is filled with stories, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in French history and architecture