SITUATION
DESCRIPTION

Archeology of the fortress :
In February 1458, written permission was granted by the King of France Charles VII, to the knight de Vendel to transform its mansion l'Ebaupinaye into a stronghold.
Taking advantage of this permission, François de Vendel built a fortress, according to the typical war-architecture of the 15th century.
This 'maison-forte' was occupied until the French Révolution in 1793, when it was sacked.
Later the timberwork and flooring where burnt out during the Vendée's civil wars.
But the main frame, substancially built with pink granit stones, keeps a remarquable stature.


This fortress, on a square floor, surrounded by stave, has a round and powerfull tower at each corner. A fifth tower controls the entrance. A bridge over the stave has replaced the former drawbridge.
The full top of the walls and towers is girded with a crenellated high breastwork, wich lays on elegant machicolations, and gives a quarrelsome but charming look to the fortress.
On top, the gable which originally supported the timber-work, show their sharp design, and include large mullion-windows.
Similar windows in the walls also enlight the fortress at upper levels.
But unprotected level and towers, only bear scarce and narrow opening suitable for shooting.
On the frontwall, above a window, the arms of de Vendel are carved in the stone, and give evidence of the 15th century construction, because this castle did not belong to the de Vendel family any more later.
Therefore the maison-forte l'Ebaupinay is none of the later imitations of the 15th century, but has a true origine at the time François de Vendel got the royal permission to transform his 'vieil hoste' into a fortress.

VISIT

The first enclosure, a wall, has disapeared, while partly transformed into a track, partly into small walls. South of the stave remains a pigeon house built into a large tower as usual in this Country.
The second enclosure is the stave with a rampart with low towers inside.
The arms of de Vendel - gules with 3 silver gauntlets - are also carved in the granit stone of the well-curb located in the court yard. Around the well, a lovely country home and several building eventually used for agricultural purposes are backed on the rampart.
The third enclosure is the fortress, larger than an usual donjon.
A winding staircase is located in the control-tower at entrance, to reach the upper level and the battlement, at the approximate height of the 5th level of a present building.
The first level above the ground was the most prestigeous. There was located the domestic chapel in the north-eastern corner tower. And the arms of de Vendel are carved in the keystone. Note that de Vendel where also canon of the Saint-Georges d'Argenton chapel, i.e. the domestic church of the suzerain castle of Argenton.
At first level also remains the mantel-piece of the fire place located in the 'state room', which is large enough to roast an ox.
Alltogether 14 fire places of various sizes and shape are located in the rooms and towers. For each the jambs and linter made in granit are specific, and each is decorated with a different carving of the granit stone.

L'Ebaupinaye was registered 'Monument Historique' hundred years ago : January 8th, 1898 .
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