Saturday, February 26, 2022

New beginnings at the Chateau de Javarzay

French Village Diaries Chateau de Javarzay Chef-Boutonne
Early spring at the Château de Javarzay, Chef-Boutonne

As a child we visited a lot of museums. Mum was a primary school teacher, so as well as being at home with us all summer, she knew we needed educational days out as well as playing in the garden or on the beach. There is something about glass topped museum display cases, crammed with collections that remains engrained in the happy place in my head. So much to see and take in, return visits were always necessary.


As 2021 drew to a close, I had a surprise phone call from the Mairie in Chef-Boutonne, asking if I would be interested in working at the Château de Javarzay this year. The Château, set in a park with a fishing lake and arboretum, bordered by the Boutonne river, dates from 1515 and was the first Renaissance château in the Poitou region. What remains now is just a small part of the original structure and houses a multi-themed museum. In the last few years, the building has been extensively refurbished, inside and out, and the museum has been upgraded to an interactive, multi-media experience that bears little resemblance to the dusty glass cabinets and costumed mannequins that were there before. Bien sûr, I said yes!


We officially reopen to the public on 18th March 2022, but with two preview weekends for local residents, enabling on the job training for our team of three, I am delighted to be back at work and speaking French. 


I feel privileged to be able to call this magnificent building my office and although many of you won’t live near enough to come and pay me a visit, I will be sharing the secrets of the Château with you here as I get to witness spring, summer and autumn at the Château de Javarzay. If you could see the smile on my face as I write this, you’d know how happy I am this opportunity has come my way.


  1. I am looking forward to a visit to Javarzay when it's open to the public in a couple of weeks. As a gite owner, I like to promote local attractions and I am sure that our visitors this year will also be interested in visiting. So I look forward to reading your updates. And congratulations on your new job!

  2. This sounds delightful! What a fun job. I'd love to visit. Maybe someday!


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