was only discovered by us because we happened to
see the sign directing us there while travelling back to the
Loire Valley area from a visit to Parthenay in the
department of Deux-Sevres. It is located 10 km south of
Thouars in the same department but is easily accessible
while visiting the chateaux of
As you approach
the village of the same name this majestic building appears
on the horizon in an open site unlike most other chateaux in
that it is in no way a 'fortified' position. It was
obviously built only for pleasure.
was begun in the
sixteenth century by the Gouffier family who had been given the land
by the king for their support during the Hundred Years War.
It has been added to over the centuries to give us the
chateau you see today.
bare chateau itself, devoid of any fixtures or furnishings,
is worth a viewing alone but today it plays host to a
permanent contemporary art collection that is
displayed in such a way that the building itself becomes
part of the exhibition. You will be impressed by the
individual artist's work which is displayed in different
rooms and halls of the chateau to best effect.
work has to be that of Daniel Spoerri - his modern
sculptures adorn the walls of the great hall capturing both
a contemporary and ancient spirit that makes you
'look twice' at the exhibit before realizing what you are
actually gazing at.
pieces of furniture, weapons, scuba gear and actually some
armour make up an interesting collection of wall hangings.
The variety of
displays make it a very interesting visit with something for
everyone - adults and children alike.
Open daily, 1 June to 30 September, 10.30 am to 6.30 pm ; 1 October to 31 May, 10.30 am to 5.30 pm
Closed 1 January, 1 May, 1 and 11 November and 25 December.
Chateau d'Oiron on wikipedia
Directions and time to Oiron