The Chateau de Bagnols is situated between the River Saône to the east and the River Azergues to the southwest in the Beaujolais region which is considered one of France's most beautiful and historically rich areas.
It is approximately 40 minutes from Lyon. It was built in the 1200s as a medieval fortress that offered refuge for its owners and the villagers throughout times of violence.
By the 1400s, Lyon was a prosperous commercial center and the château was embellished by its new owners, the de Balzacs. In 1490, two years before Columbus sailed across the Atlantic, King Charles VIII visited the de Balzac residence.
To honor the king, the royal cout of arms was carved into the stone fireplace of what is now the dining room. The fortress like aspect of the chateau was lessened when large windows were cut into the exterior walls in 1509.
This change was possible because the violence of the medieval period had passed into the peace of the renaissance. The transformation of the Chateau continued in the 1600s with the addition of tapestries and wall paintings and the removal of the draw bridges.
(La Salle Gardes, Main Dining Room)
As silk manufacturing grew in Lyon, the interiors of the house were influenced by the italian artisans associated with the industry. By the French revolution, Bagnols was an elegant country estate.
(Le Cuvage, Wine Cellar for private parties)
Aside from the revolutionaries' attempt to erase the royal fleur de lyes symbols from the fireplace in the dining room, the chateau remained unscathed.
Today, guests can enjoy the enduring historical grandeur of this chateau with its 5 star accomodations. There are 21 bedrooms with 6 apartments in the chateau and 2 apartments in the Residence.
One of Britain's philanthropist couple, Paul and Helen Hamlyn, acquired the landmark estate in the late 1980's and spent 4 years restoring it and filling it with stunning architectural and decorative details and objets de art.
(The Joseph Hessler room 15)
The public areas and guest rooms are richly appointed with ancient wood panelling,marble,fine antiques,art and textiles imbuing true classic french architecture and style.
Of course, the luxe accommodations are not considered cheap or even reasonably priced. Rooms start at about $321.00 U.S. Dollars per night.
(Madame de Sevigne, Room 5)
For more information about reservations or historical facts, visitwww.chateaudebagnols.co.uk