An easy-going lifestyle
In 1517, Bernard Salviati, a wealthy Florentine banker in the service of King François I acquired the lordship of Talcy and gave it its current layout. In 1520, he received authorization to build a fortified house equipped with defensive features. The castle's external appearance makes it an austere-looking residence; features of the defensive medieval architecture remain, both in terms of their organization and function. Whereas it flourished in Blois and Chambord, the Renaissance retained a rustic style in this haven of peace. Talcy’s archaism, with its estate and its myriad of farms, might even have something of a country residence design about it, with neither opulence nor mannerisms, which it would retain over the centuries and through generations of owners.
In 1623, Isabelle Salviati purchased the estate from her mother. It then comprised around 600 hectares and provided a comfortable income. From 1638, redevelopment work on the gable of the church provided the opportunity to extend the castle by adding a modern wing to the east. There she lived, furnishing herself with a bedroom and an office. Her initials, "YS", are sculpted on the internal doors of the porch tower.
Widow Elisabeth Gastebois acquired the Talcy estate from André Burgeat in 1780. From then on the estate would remain in the same family, from the Gastebois to the Vincens and finally to the Stapfers, by way of marriage and inheritance, until it was sold to the State by Valentine Stapfer, the last owner.
1517: Purchase of castle by Bernard Salviati
1552: Les Amours love poems of Pierre de Ronsard
1562, June 28 and 29: Conference of Talcy: in the middle of the Wars of Religion, Catherine de Médicis brought together the Catholic and Protestant parties in a unique attempt at reconciliation that would result in failure.
1572: Wounded in a bloody skirmish, Agrippa d’Aubigné was tended on the kitchen table.
1616: Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Tragiques
1638: Extension work by Isabelle Salviati
1730-1735: Major internal work and redevelopment of the garden by the Burgeat family.
1780: Sale of the André Burgeat estate to widow Elisabeth Gastebois
1870: General Chanzy was invited to Talcy by Albert Stapfer out of Republican conviction to organize the resistance of the armies of the Loire against the Prussians.
1844: Castle taken on by Albert Stapfer
1933: Purchase by the State
Talcy and the poets: Ronsard and Cassandre
The history of the castle of Talcy is characterized by two amorous adventures that inspired well-known 16th century poets. Cassandre Salviati, the daughter of Banco Bernard Salviati, touched the heart of Pierre de Ronsard: she met him at a ball held at the court of Blois in 1544 and became the muse of many of his poems, in particular his Les Amours collection of love poems (1522). During the Wars of Religion, the estate belonged to Salviati’s heirs and her niece Diane was wooed and sung about by Théodore Agrippa d’Aubigné, who stayed at the castle between 1572 and 1573.
The salon and the Stapfer's circle of friends
The last owners, Protestants of Swiss origin, the Stapfer family, from Philippe Albert to Valentine, occupied the castle from 1835 to 1933, staying there year round. Coming from a family that included several professors of theology, Philippe Albert Stapfer adopted the ideas of the Revolution and was appointed as the Swiss Minister Plenipotentiary (envoy) in France to negotiate with Napoleon I in 1800.
A friend of François Guizot, who would be the tutor of his children, he had links with a huge circle of intellectuals and scientists, from Benjamin Constant and Madame de Staël to Alexander von Humboldt and André Marie Ampère.
Albert Stapfer: the daguerreotype
A journalist with the Globe and closely connected with the ideas of the opposition, Albert Stapfer mounted the barricades in Paris in 1830. In 1827, Goethe congratulated him for his translation of Faust, in an edition illustrated by Eugène Delacroix. He very soon developed an interest in daguerreotype (a forerunner of photography on non-reproducible metal plate) and produced a number of internal and external views of the castle and a view of the castle of Chambord that is unique in its rarity. His equipment dating from 1839 (Debaste-Brisacier loan collection) is exhibited in the small drawing room.
This virtual exhibition has been put together by teams from the Centre des monuments nationaux, with the help of teams from the Château de Talcy, the support of teams from the images unit and coordination by the digital unit.
The images were taken from Regards - Banque d’images des monuments © Centre des monuments nationaux.