To discover the chateaux of the Isere department is to experience the joy of admiring, the pleasure of learning, and the charm of strolling their grounds.
They retrace the rich and surprising history of the former Dauphiné province, entrusted to the Dauphin of France in 1349.
Each site, with its own defining characteristics, represents a page of history. Many started off as strong houses built to defend the region.
The Renaissance taught architects to soften the architecture, create gardens, fountains, and water basins.
Château de Sassenage
Here is history at the heart of greater Grenoble. The Château de Sassenage is a magnificent exampole of 17th century French architecture and has managed to preserve the identifying characteristics of each of its rooms.
Do not miss the extraordinary 17th century kitchen filled with period cooking utensils.
Château and Gardens du Touvet
Located between Grenoble and Chambery, the Château du Touvet, a classified historical monument, was built in a lush mountain setting.
In the same family for the past 500 years, the medival castle was transformed into a liveable chateau in the 18th century.
The chateau invites you to discover its elegant décor, its furniture, and historic souvenirs of the monarchy and the empire period. The gardens, laid out around 1750, evoke the splendor of Italian gardens with its spectacular water stairway, fed by a mountain torrent and a natural spring.
The gardens were awarded the "Remarkable Garden" label by the Minister of Culture. An original game for children aged 6-12 (accompanied by their parents) exists for children to discover the chateau all the while having fun. Cleverness and observation go hand in hand to complete the challenge!
Château de la Sône
Between Grenoble and Valence, not too far from Saint Marcellin, the Château de la Sône sits in a 4 hectare park filled with centuries-old trees. Its majestic silhouette graces the shores of the Isere river. An architectural jewel to be discovered!
Guided tours last one hour and can be combined with other visits in the area (paddle wheel boat, petrified gardens, etc.)
You can visit the main building with its salons, bedrooms, and chapel decorated with 17th century frescoes before venturing to the grotto and the dungeon and strolling through the park.
Château de Longpra
A harmonious architectural ensemble classified as a historical monument.
Longpra is a strong house from the 13th century that was transformed into an inhabitable chateau in the 18th century. The drawbridge from the original structure still exisit today. The chateau, on an island at 450 meters in altitude, sits between the Grande Chartreuse and the Paladru lake. 700 years of history await you in this aristocratic estate, during which some of the Dauphiné's most famous artisans (including the Hache woodworkers) contributed to the castle's material wealth.
There is also a museum dedicated to wood working tools of the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as documentary films, exhibits, a park, and flower garden for guests' enjoyment.
Château de Roussillon
The architecture inspired by Italian Renaissance provides a unique monument of the sixteenth century.
The site combines innovation, discipline and Italian elegance.
Château de Septème
The Château de Septème was a Dauphiné stronghold.
This important medieval fortress has been in the same family for 250 years and remains a family dwelling to this day.
There is a French garden with free roaming peacocks.
Château de Vaulserre
Once a stronghold protecting the border between France and Savoy, the Château de Vaulserre was renovated and redecorated in the 18th century.
With its long terrace offering views of the horizon from the Chartreuse peaks all the way to the Jura, the château presents one of the most beautiful architectural, landscape, and decorative ensmbles of the Dauphiné.
The charm of the castle, the beauty of the site, and the romanticism of the gardens will all entice you, taking you right into the art de vivre of a 18th century wealthy family.
Not to be missed: the immense vestibule with trompe l'oeil frescoes, painted by Italian artists.
Château de Virieu
The château de Virieu, set in a bucolic countryside, dominates the Bourbre valley at the heart of the Lyon-Chambery-Grenoble triangle. This dwelling, whose foundation was laid by the ancestor of the current inhabitants, Wilfrid de Virieu, offers a 1 hour guided tour.
Embark on a discovery of a thousand years of history, through events such as the reception of king Louis XIII or the hiding of 40 tons of munitions during the Second World War. Today the chateau is accented with a French garden, laid out according to the original plans, which you can appreciate during the visit.
Château de Vizille
During the Religious Wars, a Catholic garnison took up residence in the chateau and resisted Lesdiguières' attacks. Once peace was restablished in 1593, Lesdiguières bought the territory of Vizille and had a new chateau built from 1604 to 1620 complete with a 130 hectare park.
In 1780, Claude Perier acquired the estate and set up a printed fabric factory. July 21, 1788, he allowed the 491 representatives of the three orders of the Dauphiné to meet in the jeu de Paume room.
In 1862, the castle and its park were classified as historical monuments and became national property in 1924. The French government turned the estate over to the Isere department in 1971.
In 1983, the Museum of the French Revolution was created by the Isere departmental council.
The park, enclosed by a 7 km wall, has been greatly modified since the 17th century. The animal park, created 10 years ago, allows guests to observe many different species such as Canadian geese, gray herons, Siberian storks, deer, and goats.
The rose garden dates from the 1930s.
Château de Bressieux
Planted atop a hill, the feudal castle of Bressieux continues to bear witness, with its majestic pink brick ruins, to the military role that it played during the Middle Ages. The gateway towers have been standing here since the 13th century and are today in rathergood condition. They feature typical characteristics of military architecture as it had evolved at the time-milled edges, roughcasting, and machicolation as well as the tall, cylindrical tower.
Its defensive structure formed an irregular polygon to which the feudal town's ramparts were joined.
Of this structure, the Rambaud tower remains, near the museum of the porte Neuve in the village.
This military fortress was once the residence of the powerful lords of Bressieux during the entire Middle Ages and under the Ancien Regime. Over the centuries, it lost its purely defensive role to become a comfortable dwelling place made up of apartments fitted with transoms and mullions.
Château de Bon Repos
Built around 1450 and probably modified during the Renaissance, this château flanked by four towers overlooks the Jarrie valley and adds much charm to the countryside. It is registered on the supplementary register of historical monuments.
Despite it caved in ceiling, it still looks quite picturesque with its four corner towers and pebble and schist façade. Its transoms and mullions are elegantly highlighted by white stone frames.
From the 15th to the 17th centuries, the chateau belonged to the Armuet, Murinais, and Costa de Beauregard families.
During the 19th century, various owners rapidly succeeded one another, includding Jules Jouvin. Its degradation sped up after the roof caved in in 1917.
The commune of Jarrie bought the chateau from the Jouvin family in 1976 and decided to invest in securing the structure and renovating its cellars for cultural and artistic use. Jarrie also supports the efforts led by the Association to Save the Chateau de Bon Repos since 1978.
The association organizes theatrical shows and outdoor choreographies that bring together a large number of actors, dancers, and volunteers.
Château de Pupetieres
Pupetières was born in the thirteenth century.
More than forty five tile designs were necessary for the realization of the roof.
Viollet le Duc has managed to highlight the coat of arms, lilies, tapestries, furniture, objets d'art, all these scenes that show was the revival of decorative arts in the nineteenth.
Château du Montalieu
Far from the bustle but close to the big cities, Grenoble and Chambery, the castle of Montalieu nestles in the piedmonts of Chartreuse.
After a harmonious reconstruction and an exceptional quality finishing work, the Montalieu castle ranks among the upscale destinations for business tourism.