Coming to the Château of Valençay is like travelling back in time, with its finely decorated interior that plunges visitors into the lavish residences of yore. The château used to be the property of the famous French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, and today testifies to a certain lifestyle in the 19th century. It continues to astound visitors every day with its incredible collections, majestic sprawling park covering 53 hectares and its quaint theatre built in the First French Empire style.
The Château of Valençay preserves the memory of its prominent owner, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, one of the most famous French diplomats and a great aesthete who loved to live the aristocratic lifestyle. The château reflects the diversity of tastes of a man who served five different regimes but remained loyal to none.

Today, the Château of Valençay is commonly associated with the notorious figure of Talleyrand, but he was by no means the first owner. It was originally an old feudal manor that was converted into the Renaissance château we know today by the Estampes family in the 16th and 17th centuries. The facade is decorated with a blend of different styles that create a harmonious overall effect, from the medieval keep and north-west tower to the capitals with pilasters typical of Roman architecture and the elegant, finely sculpted Renaissance decor. 

The estate was already in this condition when it entered Talleyrand’s possession, when Emperor Napoleon bought it for him in order for his Minister for Foreign Relations to have a “fine property in which to receive diplomatic parties”. Talleyrand began various building projects, particularly in the park and gardens. In 1808, Napoleon ordered him to receive the Princes of Spain, who were to be held here against their will but in suitably princely conditions. For six years, Valençay became a five-star prison. Talleyrand was an extremely attentive prison guard, even building a small theatre in the Empire style for the dignitaries’ entertainment. The château still shows evidence of this period of Iberian residence, at the end of which Talleyrand returned to live here. The visit route reveals the sumptuous lifestyle enjoyed by its owner who was, on top of everything, a great collector. The rooms are all lavishly decorated and the Empire Style furniture confirms the tastes of this famous aristocrat. Personal belongings and period items give the impression that the château is still lived in.

The 53-hectare park comprises gardens, flowerbeds and open spaces. The Princes’ forest can be explored on foot or in a small electric vehicle and is even home to a bat cave listed as Natura 2000 natural heritage. The deer park, which already existed in Talleyrand’s time, is home to stunning cervidae. The large estate will also appeal to children, who will discover a fascinating attraction in the largest maze game in France. There’s something for all the family at Valençay.
Not to be missed

Collections of all styles

Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand liked the luxurious lifestyle and was an excellent diplomat. He left an exceptional collection of furniture, marble works, paintings and other valuable items in Valençay, a sign of his manifest love of fine things.
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Hidden treasure

The château’s theatre

Nothing on the outside suggests that the outbuildings house a magnificent little theatre decorated with references to Antiquity.
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Napoleon’s Big Maze

The château’s park offers a thrilling attraction for children in the form of the biggest maze game in France!
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News from the château
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from 14€ /pers.
Practical information


Château de Valençay
2 rue de Blois
Fermé en ce moment
+ opening times
+ prices
From € 14.5 /  person
Qualité TourismeDémarche d'excellence grands sites
Things to see in the area
How to get there
Valençay train station is less than a 3-hour train ride from Paris from Montparnasse or Austerlitz stations. The château is a 10 minutes’ walk away. The A71, A85 and A10 motorways also lead to Valençay.

Your journey