Visit the house

Discover the interior

The château tour covers three levels, exploring wonderfully preserved and furnished rooms, decorated with paintings and portraits illustrating the long history of the residence.

Some of the most iconic rooms in the château you will see are: the neo-medieval main kitchen on the main courtyard, the reception rooms, some bedrooms and the chapel on the ground floor, the billiards hall and some guest bedrooms on the first floor, the ice house and some vaulted areas of the basement.

The neo-medieval main kitchen

Located in the South wing of the main courtyard, the kitchen gives the impression of being medieval (like the dovecote towers) and of being rib vaulted. It is in fact composed of a cross vault made from bricks, painted as false bricks and disguised as rib vaulting by the skill of Jean Baptiste and his brother Joseph Marie Marca, members of the famous family of 18th century Piedmont stucco workers.

These ornamentalists also sculpted the face of a baker’s boy and a female cook, as well as the heads of six animals commonly used in the cuisine of the time.

The vestibule and main staircase

Inspired by Roman antiquity, the architect Alexandre Bertrand designed the vestibule, which rises up over two floors of the château, like a huge, light-filled atrium, surrounded by Corinthian columns and decorated with statues of the god Bacchus and the goddesses Venus and Hebe. The walls feature continuous grooved joints.

The main staircase is very similar to the one at the Intendance du Roi in Besançon (Doubs Prefecture) but the banister was not completed, due to the Revolution.

The dining room

Dining rooms were invented in Europe in the 18th century.

As in many other châteaux, the one at Moncley is also an antechamber extending from the vestibule, leading to the private, separate apartments of the Marquis and his wife.

Plain and immaculate, the room features arches and multiple doors to allow free circulation.

The theme of hunting is evoked by the heads of a wild boar and a stag, sculpted by the stucco workers Jean-Baptiste and Joseph-Marie Marca, as well as two paintings, “Hunting bears” and “Hunting stags”.

Two niches facing each other were formerly used to house a stove and a fountain.

Over the doors, there are allegorical paintings of the seasons, painted in 1858.

The small salon

This delicate, elegant room offers valuable evidence of the excellence of Franche-Comté decorative arts in the late 18th century. The woodwork executed and carved by Claude-Léonard Faivre, based on designs by Bertrand, the cameo portraits painted by Alexandre Chazerand and the ceiling sculptures produced by Jean-Baptiste and Joseph Marca are of particular note, but the original Louis XVI furniture and the large sideboard that was undoubtedly originally used in the family townhouse in La Grande Rue, Besançon, are also superlative features.

The rotunda grand salon

Originally planned as an Italian-style salon, as high as the two floors of the château, this large circular salon was not completed before the Revolution.

During the Restoration, it was decided to abandon the initial project and make the ceiling lower than intended, painting the walls with false cut stone. The floor also retained its temporary covering.

The salon features a series of family portraits, including the owners of the residence from the late 18th century up to the mid-20th century.

The Louis XIV salon

The second room in the 1840 sequence is this elegant little room, which has retained its 19th century furnishings and blue curtains, plus its “Louis XIII decor” wallpaper, created in 1842 by Mader Frères in Paris.

The small library

The second room in the 1840 sequence is this elegant little room, which has retained its 19th century furnishings and blue curtains, plus its “Louis XIII decor” wallpaper, created in 1842 by Mader Frères in Paris.

The large yellow bedroom

The third room in the 1840 sequence, this large bedroom displays a harmony between the grey-blue tones of the wallpaper and the dazzling yellow of the furnishing textiles.

The room is devoted to the history and architecture of the château, with displays of plans and elevations, a scale model, portraits of the owners and the architect and old views of the château.

The small Toile de Jouy bedroom

The fourth and final room in the 1840 sequence, this bedroom features a Louis XVI bed with a canopy in red and white Toile de Jouy.

The room also has a series of 18th century views of Besançon.

The wallpapered bedrooms

These rooms designed for guests are genuine little apartments which, in addition to the bedroom itself, almost systematically included a wardrobe, a powder room and a space for the guest’s servant. Apart from the servants’ rooms, each area is decorated with wallpaper that was bought and hung between 1785 and 1787. The most beautiful and most expensive paper used in the bedrooms often features arabesque motifs inspired by ancient Roman paintings, the latest in Parisian fashion at the time. Due to their number, beauty and diversity, these wallpapers are considered the finest in the world.


The chapel

Designed by Alexandre Bertrand in the earliest plans from 1778, in a neo-Palladian style, the chapel was not actually built until 1913, in an 18th century style, at the request of Count Henri de Lagarde and his wife.

Their coats of arms feature on either side of the stained glass window, along with a series of other coats of arms evoking specific family alliances.

Bathed in light and barrel vaulted, the chapel has a small gallery accessible from the first floor.

The billiard hall

Designed to allow access to the many guest rooms, this hall houses a large 1830 billiards table as well as bookshelves and models of ships.

The basement

The whole of the main building rests on an immense, vaulted basement containing two separate rooms: the ice house and the rotunda.

The high-ceilinged, semi-underground, vaulted ice house was formerly used for storing a large quantity of ice collected in winter from the ponds and rivers. In summer, the ice could be used to conserve meat and fish, prepare drinks and fresh, iced desserts.

Located directly underneath the grand salon, the rotunda room in the basement, built on the model of the current Doubs Prefecture, is a genuine feat of architecture, with its circular barrel vaulting around a large central pillar. When deliveries were made to the château, a cart could easily turn around in this space, like a roundabout.

During the night of 9 to 10 September 1944, during the fighting to liberate the village and the surrounding area,  many local families took refuge in this basement.