Château de Donjeux (Haute-Marne)
The architect of the château and the garden landscaper was Jean-Michel Chovotet, architect, gardener and interior decorator from Paris (1698-1772). He also designed the Château de Champlatreux, the pavilion of Hanover and the Château de Beloeil, the “Belgian Versailles” and its park with the majestic perspectives for this palace of the Belgian sovereigns.
The current château dates from 1755 and was built on the ruins of a fortified 11th-century fortress. The Marquis de Lespéroux died in 1770, leaving two sons, the eldest, Sébastien Charles Hubert, the new owner of Donjeux, was only 18 years old and later became an officer in the service of the king. In 1792, he was dismissed and then arrested in Bordeaux in 1793. Sentenced to death, he was executed there. His wife and two children had gone to Switzerland. In 1801, they returned to France, thanks to the general amnesty decreed by the First Consul for the benefit of emigrants during the Revolution. In 1808 they took back their confiscated property, including the Château de Donjeux. Financially hard hit by the Revolution, they decided to hand them over, on October 18, 1810, to Jean-Baptiste Raulot, who was then mayor of Wassy.
Since that date, the Château de Donjeux has been inherited several times by women remaining in the same family. In 1991 it was jointly owned by nine Viney siblings. The joint ownership was extended, in 2021, to their children. An association Les Amis du Château de Donjeux was created earlier this year in order to develop further activities and open the estate more broadly to the public with a special emphasis on activities for children and appreciation for the gardens.
Several architectural elements in gardens: the reflecting pool, the outer walls and three entry gates and their flower pots.
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