Prény Castle

Prény Castle, locally known as Château de Prény, lies high above the village with the same name on a steep hill, in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in France.

When Prény Castle was founded is unknown but probably in the 11th century. During the 12th century it was the main residence of the Dukes of Lorraine.

In the mid-12th century Prény Castle, then owned by duke Matthias I, was besieged by Étienne de Bar, Bishop of Metz. In 1207 it was taken and almost completely destroyed by Theobald I, Count of Bar. Afterwards is was rebuilt and became such a formidable stronghold that it was impregnable by force until the development of artillery. It then consisted of an inner castle and an outer castle covering an area of nearly 3 hectares. So in 1262 it withstood a siege of 5 months by Theobald II, Count of Bar. In 1266 it withstood another siege and again in 1286, forcing Bouchard d'Avesnes, Bishop of Metz, to retreat and sign a peace in 1290.

After the duchies of Lorraine and Bar had united in the first part of the 15th century, the strategic importance of Prény Castle diminished. In 1437 it was shortly occupied by the troops of the Duke of Burgundy as a guarantee of the payment of a ransom due by the Duke of Lorraine. This happened again in 1474 to ensure the safe passage of the troops of Charles the Bold. However René II, Duke of Lorraine, changed his mind and took possession of the castle again. So when in 1477 the Duke of Burgundy passed the castle he took great care to avoid it but was 'greeted' by a volley of cannon balls.

In 1632 Prény Castle was occupied by French troops of Louis XIII of France. In 1636 the castle was completely dismantled by Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of Louis XIII, who feared it might serve as a point of support for the forces of the Duke of Lorraine. After that the castle never served a military purpose anymore.

During the French Revolution the castle was confiscated as National Property and auctioned off to a civilian in 1797.

In World War I the remains of Prény Castle were integrated in a defensive line by the German army and became surrounded by blockhouses. So in 1918, shortly before the armistice, it suffered a lot of damage by the fierce fighting between German and American forces.

At present Prény Castle can freely be visited. Although there was some kind of summer residence inside the main castle which prevents exploration of most of the inner castle. The outer castle area now contains a small village. The main castle is very much overgrown, so architectural details are hard to see. But it is still a very nice castle ruin.


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Prény Castle

Prény Castle, locally known as Château de Prény, lies high above the village with the same name on a steep hill, in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in France.

When Prény Castle was founded is unknown but probably in the 11th century. During the 12th century it was the main residence of the Dukes of Lorraine.

In the mid-12th century Prény Castle, then owned by duke Matthias I, was besieged by Étienne de Bar, Bishop of Metz. In 1207 it was taken and almost completely destroyed by Theobald I, Count of Bar. Afterwards is was rebuilt and became such a formidable stronghold that it was impregnable by force until the development of artillery. It then consisted of an inner castle and an outer castle covering an area of nearly 3 hectares. So in 1262 it withstood a siege of 5 months by Theobald II, Count of Bar. In 1266 it withstood another siege and again in 1286, forcing Bouchard d'Avesnes, Bishop of Metz, to retreat and sign a peace in 1290.

After the duchies of Lorraine and Bar had united in the first part of the 15th century, the strategic importance of Prény Castle diminished. In 1437 it was shortly occupied by the troops of the Duke of Burgundy as a guarantee of the payment of a ransom due by the Duke of Lorraine. This happened again in 1474 to ensure the safe passage of the troops of Charles the Bold. However René II, Duke of Lorraine, changed his mind and took possession of the castle again. So when in 1477 the Duke of Burgundy passed the castle he took great care to avoid it but was 'greeted' by a volley of cannon balls.

In 1632 Prény Castle was occupied by French troops of Louis XIII of France. In 1636 the castle was completely dismantled by Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of Louis XIII, who feared it might serve as a point of support for the forces of the Duke of Lorraine. After that the castle never served a military purpose anymore.

During the French Revolution the castle was confiscated as National Property and auctioned off to a civilian in 1797.

In World War I the remains of Prény Castle were integrated in a defensive line by the German army and became surrounded by blockhouses. So in 1918, shortly before the armistice, it suffered a lot of damage by the fierce fighting between German and American forces.

At present Prény Castle can freely be visited. Although there was some kind of summer residence inside the main castle which prevents exploration of most of the inner castle. The outer castle area now contains a small village. The main castle is very much overgrown, so architectural details are hard to see. But it is still a very nice castle ruin.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.castles.nl/preny-castle#sigFreeId877745686b