Histoire du château

History of the castle

The castle of Sedan, 1000 years of history


    Once Evrard de la Marck obtained the dominance over Sedan from his brother-in-law Guillaume de Braquemont in 1424, he had a first castle built that included a monastery.
    This triangular castle was greatly enlarged by the descendants of Evrard, eight princes and a princess;
    They turned the castle into “the Giant of Sedan”: the largest fortified castle in Europe with an area of 35000 square meters.
    In 1549 Sedan was a Principality with 21 villages.

    It turned out to be a strategic place between the French Kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire. The city would remain a Principality for a century.
    But in 1642, Prince Frédéric Maurice de la Tour dAuvergne took part in the Cinc-Mars conspiracy and, in order to save his skin, he gave Sedan to France.
    The French army then took the castle and remained there for 320 years until 1962, when the city of Sedan bought it for a symbolic franc.
    After a vote of the city council, with only one vote difference (!), they decided not to destroy it ….

  • - 1424

    The first Castle of Sedan, acquisition by Evrard de la Marck III of the Saint Martin Priory.

  • - 1430

    The old priory is integrated into the buildings that form a triangular castle having at the corners the ‘Tours Jumelles’ (the Twin Towers), the ‘Tour de l’Est’ (the Eastern Tower), and the ‘Petite Tour’ (the Little Tower).

  • - 1455

    Jean de la Marck continues the work of his father, expands the cotton and strengthens it:
    The castle walls are being widened.
    The Little Tower is embedded in the Big Tower, ‘Grosse Tour’
    Creation of the vaulted Pavilion ‘Pavilion Ogival’
    Creation of the Artillery Tower, ‘Tour d’Artillerie’ (under Robert II)
    A new Courtyard, ‘Basse Court ‘ of 10000 square meters surrounded by 4.6 meters thick walls/ Construction of a new Defensive Work, ‘Châtelet’ added a new round tower and a semi-circular tower.

  • - 1500

    The Wall
    To meet the demands of the development of artillery, Robert II de la Marck starts new works:
    The enclosure
    The cannon terraces (under Robert I)
    Reinforcement of the walls

  • - 1550

    The Bastions
    Construction of polygonal bastions or strongholds that will more than ever make a formidably fortified Castle of Sedan.

    This work has started under Robert IV de la Marck and is completed under Henri Robert de la Marck; a very important phase for the castle.

  • - 1591

    The last descendant of de la Marck, Charlotte marries Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne, who becomes Prince of Sedan and Duke of Bouillon.
    She dies very young and leaves the Castle and Principality to her husband.
    Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne marries for a second time. His second wife is Elisabeth van Nassau, daughter of Willem from Oranje and Charlotte de Bourbon.

  • - 1611

    Henri-Robert de la Tour d’Auvergne, alias Turenne, was born in the Castle in 1611 as the son of Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne and Elisabeth van Nassau.
    He led a brilliant military career in the service of Louis XIII and then of Louis XIV.
    He was named “Marechal de France” in 1643 and was killed by a bullet in 1675. The king of France had him buried in the Basilica of Saint-Denis.

  • - 1642

    The older brother of ‘Turenne’, ‘Frédéric de la Tour d’Auvergne’, gives the Castle and the Principality of Sedan to Louis XIII of France to save his skin after the conspiracy of ‘Cinq Mars’.
    The castle will then remain a military domain for three centuries.

  • - 1962

    The city of Sedan buys it for a symbolic franc.
    After a vote of the city council, with only one vote difference (!), they decided not to destroy it ….

  • - 1965

    The Castle is classified as a Historical Monument.

  • - 1995

    Start of the Historium, new visitor circuit about life in the Middle Ages.

  • - 2003 – 2005

    ‘Hotel – Restaurant du Château Fort’
    Restoration of the warehouse Fabert, the northern part of the barracks and the lodge of the Royal Lieutenant.

  • - 2011 – 2012

    Renovation of the roof of the ´Logis des Princes´ (home of the Princes) after the storm damage of July 2010.

  • - 2013

    Update of the visitor circuit.

  • - 2015

    Restoration of the eastern part of the northern barracks.


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