Jul-Aug: 9am-4pm; Apr-Jun and Sep: 10am-noon, 2pm-6pm, weekends and Bank Hols 2pm-6pm; rest of year: daily except Mon 2pm-6pm - self-guided tour Jul-Aug: 4pm-6pm - closed 1 Jan, 25 Dec
The explorer and astronomer Antoine Abbadie (1810-97) commissioned Viollet-le-Duc to build him a castle worthy of his fascination with Africa, his taste for the Middle Ages and his interest in science all at the same time. This amazing Neo-Gothic building, boasting crenellated towers and pepperpot roofs, stands in a beautiful exotic park. The rooms are painted, decorated with frescoes and buffalo hides. The great room, painted in blue, features the explorer's monogram.