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At heart of Valois, the Château de Raray is an exceptional site with eight centuries of history. It provides a chance to travel in time, from the Middle Ages to the heyday of cinema. You can also enjoy a game of golf, a meal out or even stay here by renting a treehouse.
A château embellished over the centuries
In the early Middle Ages, the first builders established a fortified castle near the Chaussée Brunehaut, a large Roman road that links Soissons to Luzarches.
The Ligny family, owners of the place from 1464, consolidated and extended the seigneury. In 1522, they built a new Renaissance château next to the old one.
In the early 16th century, the seigneury changed hands. It was bought by Nicolas de Lancy, a close advisor to kings Henri IV and Louis XIII. It was de Lancy, married to an Italian, who embellished the castle in the Renaissance style and built the two long monumental balustrades depicting hunting scenes, located on either side of the cour d’honneur. These magnificent sculptures made Raray famous and are unique in France. They display the seigneur’s taste for hunting, antiquity and Italy.
In the 18th century, the château was owned by the Barres family, who modernised the domain. They demolished the old château, remains of which still survive where the entrance to the cour d’honneur now stands.
The Château de Raray became, by marriage, the property of the La Bédoyère family, who again improved it by demolishing the old houses that surrounded it to open up the view of the cour d’honneur. The estate still belongs to the same family today.
A film-set château
The Château de Raray was used as the location for some scenes of the 1945 film La Belle et la Bête by Jean Cocteau, starring Jean Marais. The film was shot under difficult conditions and the people of Raray will remember it for a long time. The château was the perfect setting for Jean Cocteau, who was seeking to create
a feeling of magic and enchantment.
To help the place thrive, a golf course was created in the park in 1988. And, since 2016, some very comfortable tree houses have been set up in the estate’s woods welcome all who love the fresh air.
Tel: +33 (0)6 72 36 60 74
The guided tours offered here will give you the chance to travel in time and to share the filmmaking secrets of La Belle et la Bête.
To complete your visit:
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