The Chateau de Canisy is a remarkable national historic building in the middle of an 800-acre (300 hectares) park with ponds, forests and land. It has been in the same family for a thousand years.
The chateau is located in Normandy, 45 minutes away from the landing beaches and the Mont Saint Michel, only 30 minutes away from the town of Bayeux and right in the middle of the first horse breeding area in France.
Being listed as one of the seven wonders of the Manche area, the château is among the select few family chateaux in France that are so well preserved.
It consists of two main wings built in the 13th and 14th centuries and has more than 50 rooms including a monumental, granite staircase built by architect François Gabriel (the ancestor of Ange Gabriel who was the Versailles architect), a dovecote and medieval towers, several drawing rooms, a music room, two dining rooms, a theatre, a bar, cellars and attics.
A REMARKABLE HISTORIC BUILDING
The Chateau de Canisy is a remarkable national historic building in the middle of an 800-acre ( 300 hectares) park with ponds, forests and land. It has been in the same family for a thousand years.
The castle is located in Normandy, 45 minutes away from the landing beaches and the Mont Saint Michel, only 30 minutes away from the town of Bayeux and right in the middle of the first horse breeding area in France.
ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE MANCHE AREA
Being listed as one of the seven wonders of the Manche area, the castle is among the select few family chateaux in France that are so well preserved.
All the rooms are different and they have all been decorated and renovated in the luminous and elegant style of the 18th century. The silk fabrics and wallpapers have been made after original 18th-century designs and carefully selected to match the authentic and historic character of the place.
AN EXCEPTIONAL HISTORIC PLACE
The current chateau was built on the ruins of a former medieval castle. Several illustrious figures stayed there among whom King Henry IV, the Marshal of Matignon, and famous political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America, 1835).
A TRADITION OF HOSPITALITY
In the 20th century, the chateau, after having been in the midst of a Second World War battlefield, gave birth again to its tradition of hospitality by welcoming many prestigious guests such as Robert McNamara, Henry Kissinger and numerous political leaders of all the countries in America, Asia and Europe for the Aspen Institute meetings.
Every year, it also hosts American governors, members of the US Congress and military Officials to celebrate D-Day. In the past, the chateau has received Empress Masako of Japan, Infanta Elena of Spain and many famous musicians and singers such as Joan Baez.
A CASTLE IN THE SAME FAMILY FOR A THOUSAND YEARS
The owners of the chateau, Count and Countess de Kergorlay and their children Marie-Victoire and Henry-Louis are the descendants of some of William the Conqueror’s companions and their family includes many leading figures whose names have been given to several suites in the chateau, among whom the Empress Joséphine who was Napoléon’s first wife and a close cousin of the family of the Countess.
One of the ancestors of the Kergorlays was the son in law of famous Charles Carroll of Carrollton who signed the American Declaration of Independence.
THE PARK, THE GARDENS AND THE LAKES
The park, which comprises English and French gardens, provides the guests with the opportunity to go for many different and fascinating walks around the ponds to watch the colony of swans that live there, in the vegetable garden, through the woods along the paths leading to a valley.
The visitors willfind a nature reserve where lamas, alpacas, stags, deer, does, sheep, goats, pigs, peacocks, hens, swans and squirrels roam free.
It is also possible to visit our farm with their beautiful Normande cows and our delicious organic apple cider.
THE EMPIRE SUITE
In the Empire Suite, the spirit of a grand bygone era resides amidst resplendent details and evokes the age of Napoleon, Emperor of France, and his wife Josephine de Beauharnais, a cousin of the family of Comtesse Marie Christine. The bathroom is a faithful recreation of the former Hotel de Beauharnais in Paris.
THE POLIGNAC SUITE
The Polignac Suite celebrates the Restoration and the Princess de Polignac, close friend of Marie Antoinette. The last Prince, Guy de Polignac Bailli of the order of Malta was a close friend of the Kergorlay family and often stayed at the Chateau.
A GENUINE CHATEAU EXPERIENCE IN A FRENCH HERITAGE MONUMENT
What makes the Chateau de Canisy so special is that it provides the service of a luxury hotel while keeping the authenticity of a family-owned chateau. This can be experienced thanks to the way each guest is personally welcomed even if he or she stays for a short time.
Each stay is unique bespoke and organized by a staff whose British manager is used to meeting the needs of the guests and eager to fulfill their expectations. All the guests who spent time in Canisy recount that they lived a unique experience.
Indeed, they felt as though they were living like chateau owners while feeling instantly at home, whether they had come with a partner or family, a group of friends, to celebrate a special event, to visit the area or to hold a seminar. Many couples got married in Canisy because of its romantic setting and atmosphere.
A PERFECT LOCATION, HALF WAY BETWEEN THE LANDING BEACHES AND THE MONT SAINT-MICHEL
The Chateau de Canisy has a perfect location, half way between the landing beaches of Omaha, Utah, Sword and the Mont Saint Michel, close to Saint-Lô. An ideal location to discover Normandy.
TASTE OUR HOMEMADE DISHES
At Canisy, we suggest you enjoy a meal at the Chateau in a luxurious place. Our team creates extremely varied menus and uses only local products, vegetables and fruit from our garden and orchards or from the neighbouring farms as well as local seafood and meat.
This part of Normandy is famous for its sea bass, its different types of fish from the bay, its deep sea oysters of Granville and seafood as well as for its beef and all its apple-based products (cider, calvados and the famous ‘Tarte Tatin‘) and its organic vegetables from Isigny.
You will enjoy the privilege of tasting entirely homade meals, with varied menu options in order to fulfil your expectations and suit your tastes.
AN UNIQUE EXPERIENCE: CHOOSE THE PLACE OF YOUR MEAL
The Castle of Canisy offers its guests an unique experience: the choice of the room where they will enjoy their meals. It can be either the Grand Dining Room, with the other guest, or a specific Room of the castle (such as the Music Room, for instance), especially booked for them.
ACTIVITIES AT THE HOTEL
Each guest can enjoy the many possibilities provided by the different reception rooms depending on the time of day or evening and on guests’ wishes: one can share drinks or a meal by the fireplace, give a party, hold a work meeting, read in one of the libraries, see a movie in the theatre, play pool or attend a fancy-dress party.
Canisy is also often requested to organize high-quality concerts for its guests in the music room.
For the younger generation and others the chateau is full of surprises with the exploration of secret tunnels, cellars and attics, French and American pool tables, trunks full of costumes, table football tournaments and treasure hunts…
The Chateau also provides the guests with bicycles to explore the park, fishing rods to catch carp in the ponds and everything is available to play cricket or to do archery.
On request, guests can go for enjoyable rides in a sulky or a horse-drawn carriage in the park and can also go riding on their own or take the children to the horse-riding arena and/or on a tour of the nature reserve.
ACTIVITIES NEARBY THE HOTEL
AN IDEAL LOCATION TO DISCOVER NORMANDY
Thanks to its location half way between the landing beaches of Omaha, Utah, Sword, etc. and the Mont Saint-Michel, Canisy makes it possible to go on many tours that can planned by the chateau staff for each guest, with or without the assistance of a guide.
Crossing the bay of the Mont Saint-Michel on foot or on horseback (with a guide) is an unforgettable moment. The Channel is 30 minutes away, which makes it easy to go for long walks on the endless soft sand beaches or to observe the highest spring tide phenomenon.
Canisy is 45 minutes way from the port of Granville, from which you can take a ferry to the picturesque Chausey Islands.
There are many other cultural landmarks close to Canisy such as the garden and the lovely pink family house where Christian Dior lived as a child and which he dearly cherished, the town of Bayeux with its famous tapestry and cathedral or even the world famous copper workshops of the art town of Villedieu les Poeles where the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris) have been restored and where copper bathtubs are still made in the same way as in the XVIII° century (there are two such bathtubs in the château) and where many other copper artefacts are carefully crafted and can be purchased. In the neighbourhood, there are also exceptional gardens and charming little fishing harbors on the Cotentin Peninsula.
You can also explore the marshes located on the estate by four-wheel drive and thus watch incredibly beautiful birds in the wild.
About a dozen Golf courses are available in the neighbourhood among which the famous Omaha Beach golf, the Granville golf, one of the most beautiful links in France designed by famous architect Harry Colt in 1912, and the golf of Agon Coutainville.
Mont Saint Michel is a marvel of Western civilization and a World Heritage treasure, founded over 1,300 years ago after the fiery Archangel St Michel appeared to a bishop in a vision.
It is one of the world’s best preserved examples of medieval architecture and a humbling place to visit, whatever your creed. Over 3 million people visit each year to see its Abbey and Ramparts and to celebrate Mass.
This UNESCO site is also where Mère Poulard, the famous chef, founded her inn in 1888 and created famed dishes such as the omelet that bears her name.
Discover the famed beaches where thousands of young Allied soldiers gave their lives to turn the tide of World War 2 in a series of history’s most decisive and important battles.
The Normandy invasion is also the stuff of Hollywood legend: stride Omaha Beach for yourself, setting of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’, or visit the 82nd and 101st Airborne Drop Zones made famous recently by the series ‘Band of Brothers’.
D-Day Festival Normandy is also offering each year in may/june a program of festive events for the anniversary of the Allied Landings.
THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY
Listed as a “Memory of the World” by UNESCO, the Bayeux Tapestry is a hand-embroidered masterpiece over 70m long created in the 11th century to celebrate the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy.
It is thought to have been made by monks in the region, and records the events of the Battle of Hastings on October 14th, 1066 with a little bit of artistic license.
Fantastic animals, magnificent ships and dragoons of troops under Viking, Norman and Saxon standards do battle, each stitch vivid with the feats that saw William vanquish Harold, another pretender to the English throne, and add ‘Conqueror’ to his moniker.
CHRISTIAN DIOR’S CHILDHOOD HOME
The childhood home of fashion maven Christian Dior stands on a windswept cliff facing the Channel Islands in Granville, Normandy, not far from Mont St Michel.
Villa Les Rhumbs was built by a ship owner in the late nineteenth century and was named after the old marine term ‘Rhumb’, into which wind or compass roses where divided. One such rose appears as a mosaic floor ornament in one of the house’s entrances.
Dior’s parents bought this grand house with its winter garden located in a park in 1905 and the avatar of French fashion later wrote that ‘my life and my style owe everything to its site and architecture’.
RENOWNED CHEESES, CIDER, CALVADOS…
Dairy & Calvados Farm Parts of Normandy consist of rolling countryside of patchwork, hedge-bounded farms known as ‘bocage’. These farms are usually pasture for dairy cattle or apple orchards.
A wide range of dairy products are produced and exported from Normandy, including renowned cheeses like Camembert, Livarot, Pont l’Évêque, Brillat-Savarin, Neufchâtel, Petit Suisse and Boursin.
The region is also a major cider producer, and its apple brandy, known as calvados, is famed far and wide. The mealtime trou normand or ‘Norman hole’ involves a pause between courses to quaff a glass of calvados, thought to aid digestion, cleanse the palatte and increase the appetite.
HARAS DU PIN
Normandy is justly famous for its horses and stud farms. Near the small town of Le Pin is the most famous and spectacular stud farm in all of France – the Haras du Pin, one of only two whose buildings are also listed on the French National Monuments register.
It was founded in 1665 and approved by Louis XIV in 1715. Besides horse breeding, Haras du Pin also features horse and carriage displays. France’s royal stud farms date back to the 17th century, and were set up to ensure a reliable supply of quality horseflesh for the army.
September and October also sees horse races at one of the France’s oldest and most prestigious racetracks, the Bergerie, near Le Pin.
The oyster growers of Normandy produce about 25% of all the oysters in France. The area features over 2,713 acres of oyster cultivation parks. The region runs from the Belgium in the East, stretches westerly across the Cotentin Peninsula, and then South to the famous Cloister Mont-Saint-Michelle in northern Brittany.
What makes this region so attractive is that an oyster lover can sample oysters from at least four distinct “oyster terroirs” in close proximity. Each “terroir” (growing area) imparts a special taste nuance to its oysters.
The quality of Normandy’s oysters stems from the fact that the region benefits from the highest tides in Europe.
WEDDING AT THE CHATEAU DE CANISY
The Chateau de Canisy is the perfect place to organize the wedding of your dreams, in a French Heritage Monument, surrounded by a 800 acres park with lakes. Possibilities of fireworks.