meet

Cécilia de Montalembert

When she married Aimery de Montalembert, Cécilia adopted the Château de Lassay.

“We love our chateau like a member of our family. It’s like a person with less common sense than a child and who needs to be constantly taken care of! Looking after it comes as naturally as looking after children – the more we work on it, the more it gives us back. We always try to look at things with a fresh eye and we know we still have a lot to learn and to share. It’s a constantly exciting project!

My discovery of Lassay was simultaneous with my discovery of of Mayenne. I couldn’t have located the place on a map, but I immediately loved countryside, the ancient nature, the feeling of belonging. From the start, I felt at home in this environment.

Cécilia De Montalembert - Chateau de Lassay -Cécilia De Montalembert - Chateau de Lassay -
Cécilia de Montalembert

“All our visitors have different expectations, but we want everyone to feel welcomed, to feel like they belong and to leave with something extra."

Cécilia loves
  • restoring the château
  • bringing old things back to life
  • passing on her knowledge

An archaeological treasure … but so much more besides

Owned by the family since 1823 and now classified as a historical monument, the medieval fortress of Lassay-les-Châteaux appears today as it was rebuilt after the Hundred Years War.

For archaeologists and history buffs, it is a treasure trove of references to the past. But it is also an extremely lively, radiant place. It’s an inhabited, bustling house, not a museum. Our visitors feel that. We bring the past to life with re-enactments, and we make sure it’s right up to date with extreme sports events and concerts. It is not only a witness to the past, it’s part of the modern life of the region.”

Restoring the château gradually as they could afford it and with grants from the French national lottery gave them some of the funding they needed but not all:

“We also needed to bring in visitors, especially those who love history. We encourage people to come by putting on events that people may not have spontaneously sought-out, an early music concert for example.

In the great fight for the château, the municipality and the inhabitants were and remain the first allies: “The chateau is in the town. The people around us see it every day, better than we see it ourselves – it’s part of them, of their lives. Feeling this shared love for the château, this common desire to do something for the village is always an extraordinary thing for us.

We have found endless resources among local people, which has encouraged and comforted us along our journey.

This symbiosis between the château and the town is faithful to the medieval spirit, a community which lives in harmony around a special place.”

Where to find

Cécilia

Cécilia's favourite place in

Mayenne
Musee Du Cidre Lassay les ChateauxMusée du Cidre

“Go to the cider museum in Melleray-la-Vallée, created by Gérard Leroyer and taken over by his children. It’s educational, interesting and the products are very good. Their cider products, like the stones of our château, are an expression of local foundations. Heritage and products with a strong link to the land. “

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