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The Military Might of Burgundy: Château de Bazoches

Desiree Michels
 


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One of the best but frequently overlooked ways to see Europe’s sights is by water. There’s nothing like cruising in a hotel barge and immersing yourself in the local scenery and culture, especially when there’s so much to see all around you. Join us aboard L’Art de Vivre on a journey through Burgundy, and soak up some of the finest attractions that France has to offer.

For lovers of France and military history alike, L’Art de Vivre will take you exactly where you’d like to go. The Château de Bazoches is a treasure trove of historical interest, military prowess and elegant architecture.

Back in Time

Dating back to the twelfth century, the grand château was originally built on a Roman site, overlooking the Morvan landscape. The estate itself originates from the fashionable antiquity of the seventeenth century, as evidenced by its magnificent architecture. Walking through its halls, you can easily imagine the courtiers of King Louis XIV strolling past you.

A True Genius

The most famous owner of the château is Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, widely renowned for his military genius. He purchased the estate following his enormous success in the siege of Maastricht, for which Louis XIV rewarded him with a large sum of money. His home became the headquarters for his strategic and fortification designs, which were widely respected and used by many French cities for over a century.

Ahead of his time, Vauban understood modern advances in technology and weaponry, making him a master of military planning. He would use intricate miniature ravelins, bastions and moats to further his ideas, and became a pioneer of the bayonet rifle, the iron-barrelled cannon and the mortar. His prowess in military engineering and strategy was unparalleled, so it’s no surprise that over 300 cities in France feature his designs, including Lille, Dunkirk and Bayonne.

Luxury Libraries

Château de Bazoches is also home to an extensive library, which contains over 5,000 books and is a must-see for literature enthusiasts. Vauban himself had a passion for literature, and penned his famous Royal Tithe during his time there. Unfortunately, his written criticism of the upper classes and the inequalities of the taxation system cost him his royal favour, causing him to fall from grace for the rest of his life.

Further Information

If the rich and varied history of this grand Burgundian house sounds too good to be true, what are you waiting for? European Waterways will take you on a luxury hotel barge cruise and ensure that you take in all of France’s best sights. For more information, don’t hesitate to explore our website or get in touch with our friendly team of experts.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury hotel barge holidays in France. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

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