History of the castle
The first castle built on the Pompadour lands dated from 1026 and was completely destroyed during the wars that followed the death of King Richard the Lionheart at Châlus in 1199. Rebuilt in the 15th century on the feudal hill, the castle of Pompadour was developed further in the 18th century. In 1745, it was given with the title of Marquise, to the famous favourite concubine of Louis the 15th, Madame de Pompadour. Partially destroyed during the Revolution, it suffered a fire in the 19th century. Of the fortress, only the south wing and the outer enclosure remain. The façade, with its machicolations, is flanked by large pepper-pot towers. An entrance lodge leads to a large terrace surrounded by ditches and flanked by seven low towers. From 1970 to 2004, the castle hosted the offices of the national stud farm as well as housing for its officials.
Guided tour of the building
During your visit, you'll discover the history of the castle and the impact that the stud has had on its story through eleven beautifully furnished rooms. You will thus have access, either freely or on a guided tour, to the director's dining room, with its Vermont earthenware, and his bedroom with empire-style furniture restored by cabinetmakers. His office is decorated with a magnificent bureau made to measure in 1865. You mustn't miss the tapestries and the exhibition rooms of the castle.
From an architectural point of view, the thickness of the castle walls is extraordinary - you will see the parts that have remained untouched over the centuries as well as the different types of stones that have been added as the building was developed. Pink granite, grey granite, more contemporary materials, all these stones carry in them the history of the castle. You may also see the sculpted limestone stones, a testimony to the aesthetic character of the northern wing of the castle, destroyed after the French Revolution, and which housed the seigniorial dwellings. Inside the building you can see some delightful 19th century mouldings and the side of the old fortress, much more irregular in form, and which gives it all its charm. Rows of rooms, small corridors hidden passages, you may never know quite where you are!