Scaffolding cladding the cour d’Honneur facades and restorers meticulously cleaning the sculptures in the central pavilion… the restoration of the Horseshoe Staircase has well and truly begun!

The Horseshoe Staircase was built in 1632 at the request of Louis XIII. It is attributed to the architect Jean Androuet du Cerceau. An object of fascination, this atypically shaped masterpiece is an architectural feat imitated throughout Europe. From the reign of Louis XIV onwards, the staircase was used as a grand setting to welcome princesses marrying a son of France. It was on April 20, 1814 that the Horseshoe Staircase entered into legend as the setting for Napoleon I’s famous farewell to his guard.

The sandstone structure of the staircase is threatened by water infiltration and the development of micro-organisms that promote the deterioration of the stone. The renovation work covers the entire structure and both flights. The staircase will be completely dismantled to consolidate its foundation, which has been weakened by the passage of time. The work was divided into three phases.

– The first phase, from September 2019 to March 2020, focused on restoring the staircase’s central pavilion and sculpted ornamentation.
– The second phase, scheduled from June to February 2020, saw work begin on the terrace, upper balustrade and gallery below the building.
– The third and final phase, scheduled from December 2020 to February 2022, will complete this spectacular renovation, restoring the two flights of steps to their original glory.

The entire staircase will be restored in two years. Rendezvous in early 2022 to rediscover the symbol of the château in all its splendour.

Particularly damaged by weathering and haphazard repairs, the sculptures are in a worrying state of preservation, with significant loss of material. Restoration involves fine cleaning of the sculptures, consolidation of the materials, and reworking to fill in any gaps.
The marble dedication to Charles IX at the top of the pavilion has been removed. It will be restored but cannot be repositioned in its original location. A copy was made to replace it.