buis 2 9Photograph by C. Pelletier

Origins

The actual buildings of the castle were built on the site of an older construction probably dating back to the 13th century.

The chateau occupied a strategic position on a plain in southern Champagne, near the frontier with Burgundy.

Bought by the Saulx family from the Bishop of Langres in 1513, it would later become a rare and emblematic example of Renaissance architecture in Champagne.

 

The Gaspard de Saulx-Tavannes family

Son of Jean de Saulx and Margaret de Tavannes, Gaspard was appointed as page of Francis I at the age of 14. Soon afterwards he followed the king to Italy, and courageously fought by his side. After returning to France, he never ceased to continue the war against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He was a rugged, courageous and tireless soldier, capable of quickly making important decisions. When the Wars of Religion broke out, he fought on the side of the Catholics. In 1570 he was appointed Maréchal of France and in 1572, Admiral of the Seas of the Levant, and Governor of Provence. A year later, he died in his castle in Sully.

Gaspard de Saulx-Tavannes described the Château du Pailly, which he had inherited from his father, as a "nasty house". In 1563, distressed by the death of his son, he transformed the medieval fortress into a jewel of Renaissance architecture, in the style of the Italian palaces with which he had been so impressed during his youth.
The Château du Pailly remained in the Saulx-Tavannes family until 1764. It passed through the hands of several owners until it was purchased in 1821 by Jean-François Moreau du Breuil, who undertook measures to restore it.

 

The Moreau du Breuil de Saint-Germain family

Born in Langres in 1774, Jean-François Moreau du Breuil de Saint-Germain found exile on the island of Tobago (Lesser Antilles), where he made a fortune. He returned to France and purchased the Château du Pailly in 1821.The property was passed on to his son Thomas, member of the departmental council of Haute-Marne, and then to his grandson Albert, who was both a member of the departmental council and a member of parliament for Haute-Marne.

Albert Moreau du Breuil de Saint-Germain had two sons: Jean, who died in combat in 1915, and Pierre.

In 1921, the chateau was classified as a historical monument, then in 1936 was transfered to the insurance company "Mutuelles Agricoles de l'Est". It became the property of the State in 1963.