History of Balleroy castle
Located southwest of Bayeux in Calvados, Balleroy Castle overlooks the Drôme.
It was built from 1626 on the fief of Balleroy by Jean II de Choisy. He chose François Mansart as his architect, who would later work on the castle of Blois, the castle of Chambord and the church of Notre-Dame du Val-de-Grâce in Paris.
The architect drew up the plans for the castle and the adjoining village in a style that marked the history of French architecture. The castle is built in brick, schist and stone from Caen, in a Louis XIII style. The castle of Balleroy would have inspired Marcel Proust to write the castle of Guermantes in his masterpiece “In Search of Lost Time”, after having visited it. In 1951, the castle was classified as a historical monument. Remaining in the same family for over 300 years, it was sold to Malcolm Forbes, then CEO of the famous Forbes magazine, in 1970.
Ancestor of the Versailles castle dating from the 17th century, the Balleroy castle is a must-see for any stay in Calvados. Inside, you can see a dozen rooms, most of them in 19th century style: a smoking room, a Louis III salon, the bedroom… The superb main salon has never been modified since the castle was built. You can also appreciate the oak ceiling and the suspended staircase. The rooms are decorated with works of art, such as paintings by Albert de Balleroy and Juste d’Egmont.
Visit of the castle of Balleroy
Information, rates and schedules
Only 10 kilometers west of the 4 star campsite l’Escapade, the castle of Balleroy is an unmissable visit during your camping stay in Calvados.
The castle of Balleroy is open :
- from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:45 am to 6 pm.
- In July and August it is open every day.
- The castle can be visited freely or on a guided tour, with or without the park.
- The best ticket is the one including the castle, the museum and the park for 9€ per adult and 6,50€ for students and minors.
- If you are only interested in the castle, the entrance fee is 7€ and 5,50€ respectively.
- You will also have the opportunity to take a break in a beautiful tea room offering drinks and desserts.
- The Balleroy castle is only ten minutes away, which will allow you to take the time to see everything.
- From the campsite, take the D99 north and then the D13 west.
- It stops at the D73 which leads to Balleroy.
- Only 10 kilometers west of the 4 star campsite l’Escapade, the castle of Balleroy is an unmissable visit during your camping stay in Calvados.
The Balloon Museum
This museum presents the collection of a balloon enthusiast, the American Malcolm Forbes. He bought the castle in 1970. In addition to all the objects to be seen, a documentary on the history of hot air balloons is available for viewing.
Considered as one of the most beautiful parks in France, the charming park of the castle is to be discovered on foot, taking your time. There is a romantic English park dating from the 19th century and French gardens created at the beginning of the 20th century by the landscape designer Henri Duchêne. While walking around you will also see the dovecote of the castle made of more than 1700 artificial nests where birds can nest. A signposted route allows you to see all the features of this remarkable green space.