André Le Nôtre designed the gardens while the château itself was the work of Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Conveniently, the new château was located quite near Versailles itself which permitted the royal mistress to spend her days at court and her evenings at home. A large work force was needed to complete the château in time to meet the favourite's demands and suggestions range from 22.000-36.000 workers! The total sum: 17.000.000 livres.
When Madame de Montespan lost her favour with the King she stopped visiting their former retreat. Louis XIV decided to finally grant it to her in 1685 though the courtiers mused that it was mostly for the sake of his illegitimate son, the Duc du Maine whom he loved dearly.
Even though Madame de Montespan never went back to Clagny after retiring to a convent in 1692 it was still her property. So it remained until her death in 1707 when her son, the Duc du Maine, inherited it. In turn the Duc du Maine would leave Clagny for his grandson, the Princes des Dombes. In 1766 it reverted to the crown but by then it had not been in use for a while and was severely neglected.
Louis XV, who understandably had no ties to Madame de Montespan nor her son for that matter, gave 11 hectares to Marie Lescszynska who built a convent on the grounds. Since there was no more use for the old love nest it was finally demolished in 1769.
|How it would have looked|
|A virtual reconstruction|
|View from the front|
|Cross-section of the château|
|Cross-section from 1678|
|Plan of the castle grounds|
|Engraving of the château from the garden side|
|Allegorical portrait of Madame de Montespan at Clagny|
|This epic portrait of Madame de Montespan gives us a peak into|
the hall of Clagny