The Château de Rastignac is a neoclassical style country house located in La Bachellerie, near Bordeaux in the Dordogne in France. It was built between 1812 and 1817 to designs by the architect Mathurin Salat (1755–1822), sometimes called "Blanchard". The house was built of limestone by the Marquis de Rastignac.


Château de Rastignac

Construction of the château was delayed by disruptions from the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars. When completed, the house was decorated in the French Empire style.

In 1944, fleeing Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) forces attempted to destroy the Château de Rastignac in retribution against the French Resistance. Using phosphorus as an accelerant, the fire burned for five days. Only the exterior limestone shell survived. After eight years the structure was stabilized and a roof placed overhead for protection.

The semi-circular Ionic portico of the Château de Rastignac is frequently compared with Maison carrée d'Arlac and the South Portico of the White House, and there have been speculations about the possible influences of one house on the other. Though James Hoban, the original White House architect, did not visit the region, the third American president, Thomas Jefferson (who had conducted architectural revisions of the White House[1]) did visit the region and meet architect Salat earlier, while serving as United States ambassador to France.

Reconstruction of the château's interior spaces was completed in 2003 and it is now divided into seven residential apartments (five for the main building, and two for the former coach house).[2]


  1. ^ Johnson, Michael (15 September 2006). "A chateau fit for a president". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Michael (2006-09-15). "A chateau fit for a president". International Herald Tribune. 

Further reading

  • Garrett, Wendell. Our Changing White House. Northeastern University Press: 1995. ISBN 1-55553-222-5.
  • Leish, Kenneth. The White House. Newsweek Book Division: 1972. ISBN 0-88225-020-5.
  • Penaud, Guy Dictionnaire des châteaux du Périgord. Editions Sud-Ouest: 1996. ISBN 2-87901-221-X.
  • Seale, William, The White House: The History of an American Idea. White House Historical Association: 1992, 2001. ISBN 0-912308-85-0.
  • The White House: An Historic Guide. White House Historical Association and the National Geographic Society: 2001. ISBN 0-912308-79-6.
  • The White House. The First Two Hundred Years, ed. by Frank Freidel/William Pencak, Boston 1994.

External links

Coordinates: 45°08′55″N 1°08′21″E / 45.14861°N 1.13917°E / 45.14861; 1.13917