Berzy-le-Sec Castle (France)
Hauts-de-France See list of castles in Francia
Overlooking the valley of the Crisis, Berzy appears for the first time in the texts in 1161. The castle, adjacent to the communal church dedicated to Saint Quentin, was built over several periods between the 12th and 16th century. The most significant Renaissance embellishments of its architecture are attributed to Nicolas de Louvain, chamberlain of the Duke of Orleans and captain of the castle of Villers-Cotterets when he entered the castle of Berzy. From the 18th century to the ravages of the Great War, the castle will probably be transformed into a farm. Shattered by shells and threatened with ruin, the site will be registered with the Historical Monuments since 1926 but due to a lawsuit initiated by the owner it was not until 1932 that the first consolidation work was undertaken.
The monument now belongs to the commune of Berzy-le-Sec and has been entrusted to the Association for the Safeguarding of the Patrimony of the Southern Aisne which has installed its headquarters there. Created in 1998, this association is affiliated to the national network "Rempart" and is dedicated to the preservation, enhancement and animation of the historical heritage in rural areas. The first volunteer camps began in the early 2000s and today the success is such that the association can not even welcome all volunteers. Beyond its restoration, the castle of Berzy has become an invaluable tool for the transmission of a know-how. Supervised by professionals, various workshops allow volunteers to train in various fields: carpentry, carpentry, stone cutting, ceramics, locksmithing, ironwork and even medieval goldsmiths.