Chateau de Saint-Fontaine is a residence just south of the capital city, and north-west of the court in Saint-Etienne. The building is just under 140 years old, with a number of alterations on the building itself. Originally owned by House Lowell-Brittany, it has since passed to Lowell-Burgundy.
The Chateau de Saint-Fontaine was originally conceived by the aspirational Duc Francois de Bretagne d'Anjou. He was the younger son of the Prince de Bretagne, and, at the time, 4th in line to the Principality of Bretagne. The Duc, despite his junior position, desired a residence grander than that afforded to the Prince in Manehouarn. The Prince himself was a man of simpler taste, content with the small building of Manehouarn.
The Duc, requesting some land from his then cousin Charles VI from just outside of Dijon, 17 miles from the Court building of Saint-Etienne. For this large plot of land, he hired Jean du Plessis as his architect and Marianne-Seraphime Soufflot to oversee his gardens. The building would be started in 1645 and completed by the next year. He would decorate the building in gilt and oak woods, with biege and creams for his fabric. The Duc would move himself and his wife, the Duchesse Olympie-Diane de Nassau. The family would reside in the building for some time, during which, the building became known for its sordid record. The Duc often held orgies at the building, with varying courtiers in attendance. His wife at the time served as Maitresse to the Emperor and was not always present, giving ample freedoms.
During Anne-Marie d'Anjou
Eventually, the Duc would die in 1674, passing the residence to his only child, Anne-Marie d'Anjou. She was unmarried and would remain so for her life. But this did not stop her continuing the seamy reputation. It was here she would give birth numerous times to 'secret children' in clandestine births. These children were sent away to the countryside or to a convent to quell rumours, though naturally, there was much gossip about the situation at court. This was exacerbated by her age, as she was in her mid 40's, though it was said she never grew a day over 30, nevertheless, women were considered old after 20. The building was further embellished by adding two seperate buildings in the forecourt and additions to the gardens. By her late 40's, she was found dead, likely from venereal disease.
During Louis-Hyacinthe de Nassau
She would pass it to her favourite cousin, Louis-Hyacinthe de Nassau, who would take ownership. Though, by now, the building was rarely used. He did, however, add the orangery building, but beyond this, the chateau remained unused and quiet with a small group of servants employed to care for the building until Louis XI bought it in 1749. He made little use of it personally but enjoyed the gardens from time to time.
During Charles Dieudonne de Grandelumiere
By the birth of Charles Dieudonne it became more frequently used. Charles would visit the building often in early adolescence and made use of the building when he was permitted. It would be left to him in the Will of his great-grandfather. He would go on to redecorate the entire building, employing his own architects to see to it. The furnishing inside would be redone in his colours, ridding of the bieges from the original building which had never been removed. In their place were rosewood and silver, with dark yellows, blues and reds for the silks.