CHÂTEAU DES FOUGIS
|‘In the 15th century, according to tradition, the Fougis were the hunting grounds of the Bourbons. In 1495 records exist of financial payments between Duke Charles the 3rd and Hughes le Long, Lord of Fougis and provost of the Duke’s Hunting. Earlier still, there’s a reference to the Lord of Fougis in an inventory written in 1410 by Pierre Bodet for Guichard Dauphin, Lord of Jaligny. In fact, the family le Long were the registered holders of les Fougis from 1461 onwards, through squire Hugonin le Long, who was also provost of the Hunting of Pierre the 2nd. The Le Longs retained the ownership of Les Fougis until 1727, the date on which the territory was bequeathed to a nephew, Jean Berthier de Bizy. Their descendants retained it until the French Revolution. In 1802 it was bought by Antoine Clayeux, whose family owns the site to the present day.
Rebuilt at the end of the 16th century (a doorway in classic style is dated 1593) the Fougis have walls pierced with more decorative openings. A description from Nicolas de Nicolay in 1569 states “fort chasteau, terre et seigneurie…” [strong castle, land and lordship…]
The château is composed of a main rectangular building, flanked by two square towers on its southwest and northeast corners, and a round tower to the southeast. A second perpendicular wing to the north is also flanked by another square tower on its east corner. The walls are made of red and dark brown brickwork, paired to form lozenge patterns. The openings are framed with white limestone. The north façade and some windows to the other sides were modified throughout the end of the 19th century.’
R. Germain & coll. – ‘Châteaux, fiefs en Bourbonnais’, 2004, Éditions De Borée, Sayat, ISBN 2-84494-199-0, p. 539-540
In 2001, the German artist Erich Engelbrecht bought the property, which – in collaboration with his son-in-law and architect João de A. Vares – was developed in several stages until 2009 into the present sculpture park with his 26 monumental and coloured sculptures. During that time, some members of his family settled in Fougis, where they presently live and work.
At the main wing of the castle, Mrs Engelbrecht, widow and executor of the artist legacy, presents a private collection of other works of the same, including large-format tapestries, oil paintings, small steel figures and graphics.
This cultural site is enriched by other activities – e.g. the international dance and music event ‘Festiv’ Allier’, which has taken place every August since 2007. This is based in the Chateau’s private venue, the ‘Haras des Fougis’, with its fully equipped professional kitchen, a concert and seminar room with a mezzanine, and a large marquee available for open air events.
We look forward to working with you on the successful design and realisation of your special event!