The golden Pavilions

The golden Pavilions


The famous Pavilions Dorés (The 3 rooms above the rear gate) of the chateau of Selles-sur-Cher were begun at the beginning of the grand construction work of the chateau at the wish of Philippe de Bethune.


The count needed to live somewhere. He used a part of the medieval castle which had been restored in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Philippe de Bethune, climbed the staircase as we do today. The entrance to the stairs was richly decorated with ionic pillars, scrollwork ornaments this lovely door.


Here, Philippe de Bethune made of these rooms an apartment worthy of his rank by raising the roofs, constructing magnificent fireplaces and decorating the walls with superb paintings.

Through the windows of his apartment opening to the east, Philippe de Bethune surveyed the construction of his chateau.

Following his regular stays in Rome, he had built up a network of people, notably in the artistic world, whom he particularly liked.

So, he called on these Italian painters to decorate the walls of this temporary lodgings.

Among these painters, there was one whom Phillipe de Bethune admired, although this painter had a fiery reputation: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Phillipe de Bethune acquired some canvases from Caravaggio, of which we have two copies in our small gallery on the ground floor of the Pavillon Bethune: The Last Supper, and The Incredulity of St-Thomas. The original paintings are to be seen in the church of St-Antoine in Loches (37).

This apartment is made up of one room called the workroom, of which the ceiling contains 162 sections painted with golden motifs on a blue background: several masks, and a central rose with the shields of the Bethune family.

A vast fireplace with warlike decorations used to heat the room.

Next, follows a short corridor richly decorated with allegories and Latin scripts on a golden background. To the left is a small chapel made from the old room used to manipulate the drawbridge. The ceiling here is decorated with children’s faces. Finally, the third room similar to the workroom contains the same ornate fireplace, this time decorated with peaceful images, the ceiling of this room in in the same style as the workroom. This was no doubt the bedroom of Philippe de Bethune, a bedroom as was understood in the 17th century, that is to say, a room with multiple uses: workroom, dining room, salon, washroom and bedroom.