Concept

Château de Chavaniac

Summary
The Château de Chavaniac aka Chateau Lafayette is a fortified manor house of eighteen rooms furnished in the Louis XIII style located in Chavaniac-Lafayette, Haute-Loire, in Auvergne, France. Flanked by two towers of black stone, it was built in the 14th century and was the birthplace of General Lafayette in 1757. In 1916, a group of wealthy philanthropists led by Scottish-born American industrialist John C. Moffat purchased the castle to serve as a center of philanthropy for people affected by World War I. Following the war he renovated it completely to preserve documents and objects relating to General Lafayette. The Château de Chavaniac is now a museum open to the public. The Château de Chavaniac was constructed in the 14th century. It was partially destroyed by a fire in 1701. General Lafayette was born here in 1757. He was married in 1774 to Adrienne de Noailles. They had four children together: Henriette, who died at a young age, Anastasie, Georges and Virginie who lived in the castle. A hero of the American and French revolutions, he was rejected by the French revolutionaries when he voted against the death of King Louis XVI. With the fall of the monarchy, he tried to flee to the United States through the Dutch Republic. He was captured by Austrians and was made prisoner by Austria at the fortress of Olmutz. He was considered a traitor for not saving the life of Marie-Antoinette, an Austrian by birth, and the king. Lafayette returned to France in 1797. The château was restored to Lafayette in 1791 but sold by the French Republic when Lafayette fled the country. His aunt later bought the château. In December 1916, a group of philanthropists led by John C. Moffat, and including William A. Chanler, Joseph Choate, Clarence Mackay, George von Lengerke Meyer, John Grier Hibben, and Nicholas Murray Butler, purchased the château for the French Heroes Lafayette Memorial Fund which was managed by Chanler's estranged wife Beatrice Ashley Chanler.
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