The Bethune Pavilion in 1604
Philippe de Bethune was 40 years old when he acquired the ruins of the medieval castle of Selles-sur-Cher in 1604.
After a brilliant career as French ambassador for King Henry IV, he was looking for a property for his retirement to live with his family and to welcome his numerous friends and relations.
The property needed to have some income.
It was Jaques II Androuet du Cerceau, a parisien architect known already for his work on the Place Royal in Paris, now known as Place des Vosges, and numerous chateaux in the Loire Valley, who drew up the plans for this chateau in the 17th century. The construction lasted more than 7 years.
The workmen from Paris were lodged on the site during the work.
Access to the main court-yard, where the Pavilion Bethune is situated, is by a grand drive which leads to the bridge crossing the 21-metre-wide moat.
The entry to the court-yard is by a central gateway where the old drawbridge was situated. It is made up of 3 sections separated by Tuscan columns; the main entry through an arch in the center and an entry on either side for people on foot.