October 3, 2014

1266 FRANCE (New Aquitaine) - Château des Milandes, Josephine Baker's nest

The Château des Milandes is a small castle in the commune of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle (Dordogne), built by Francois de Caumont around 1489 for his young wife, who found medieval castle of Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle rather cold and unwelcoming. It is a fine example of Renaissance architecture, and it was the main house of the lords of Caumont until 1535. It fell into ruin after the French Revolution, but was restored by the legendary music hall star Josephine Baker, who rented the castle in 1940, and then bought it in 1947. She began her famous 'rainbow tribe' adopting children from different nationalities and religions. However, Josephine's generosity and naivety led to bankruptcy and she had to sell the castle.

The chateau is one of the prettier of the chateaux in this area, and is surrounded by attractive gardens. The exterior of the chateau has everything - turrets, pointy roofs, mullioned windows, stained glass windows, gargoyles - but it is all put together in a beautifully harmonious way.  The interior is restored and maintained in the 1930's style in which Josephine Baker decorated it (art deco). In addition, there are exhibitions and displays commemorating the life of Josephine, which started in the back street clubs of New York, and progressed to France where she was very well received and where she played a significant role in the resistance during WWII. Falconry was an integral part of life in the Middle-Ages and during April to October there is a falconry display at the Chateau des Milandes.

About the stamps
The first stamp was issued in 1979 to celebrate Election of the Assembly of European Communities (June 10, 1979). The second stamp was issued on May 6, 2014, to celebrate The 20th Anniversary of the Eurotunnel Service.

Château des Milandes - Official website
Château des Milandes, Dordogne - Dordogne Travel Guide

sender: Sébastien C.
sent from Cadillac (Aquitaine / France), on 17.07.2014

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