The chateau's history is rich and varied. The carved faces on the columns area part of the remaining cloisters as is the arched doorway shown to the right. The coat of arms is from Flanders.
Chateau St. Philippe was originally built as a priory by the Benedictine monks in1032-1033. Its name, St. Philippe de la Porte, literally meaning St. Philippe of the door, was condensed to its current title: St. Philippe. Since its construction, the priory was transformed into a chateau by Barron Charles-Albert Favier du Noyer in 1828. After his renovation, the chateau changed hands three times before settling into the hands of its current American owners, who have completely restored the castle, preserving its architectural integrity while bringing a modern charm to its atmosphere. Chateau St. Philippe has undergone many changes in its long history since construction began in 1032.
Originally a priory, or monastery, the Chateau was built at St. Jean by the Benedictine monks of St. Andre Le Bas and was named St. Ours. Queen Ermengarde, the wife of Rudolphe III of Burgundy, gave the property to the monks in 1032. At the time of the gift, there was a small church on the property.
St. Ours was furnished with many relics brought from the Orient by Nanthelme of Miolans, the Archbishop of Paris, who died on April 18, 1243.
In 1334 St. Ours became known as St. Philippe de la Porte, or St. Philippe of the Door for two reasons: (a) the remains of St. Philippe were kept at the priory and (b) the gateway on the property between the priory and the barn provided a source of revenue for the monks who collected tolls from travelers who passed through the avenue that still exists at the top of the orchard. Later the village of St. Jean took its modern day name of St. Jean de la Porte from the same tollgate at the priory.
In February 1420 a papal decree confirmed that the priory of St. Philippe belonged to the monks of St. Andre Le Bas even though much of France was under the control of Henry VI of England in the 1400's.
By 1370 the church and cloister had fallen into disrepair and almost 90 years passed before the property was restored. This point of history left St. Philippe with the carved faces of on the columns as shown on the arched doorway, bearing a coat of arms from Flanders. In February 1420 a papal decree confirmed that the priory of St. Philippe belonged to the monks of St. Andre Le Bas even though much of France was under the control of Henry VI of England in the 1400s. In 1458 the head priest, Jean the second of Grolee reconstructed St. Philippe in flamboyant style. In April 1458 the Archbishop of Grenoble, consecrated three alters and authenticated the arm and head of St. Philippe, both contained in a silver chase at the priory. St. Philippe’s remains were last seen in 1673.
In 1591 the priory was made part of the Jesuit College of Chambery and served as a secondary school.
The black marble from Priory de St. Jean de la Porte was quarried from the Chateau property by the Jesuits at about 1584. The same marble was used in restoring Notre Dame from 1630 to 1646.
In July 1773 after the suppression of the Jesuit order, the priory passed to the l'Eco-nomat Royal. Twenty years later St. Philippe became a national treasure belonging to the French Republic. About this time, the two towers of St. Philippe that faced St. Pierre were decapitated.
Jean Francois Courtois, the Mayor and Notary, installed his office at St. Philippe. Then, on February 15, 1795, he sold the property to Claude Charles Mongenet. the chief engineer of the Points et Chausses (bridges and roads). Mongenet died in 1821 and his son, Charles Benjamin, a lawyer in Grenoble, resold it in 1823 to Marie Geanne-Emerentienne, the daughter of Pierre-Louis of Lescheraine and the widow of Louis Favier du Noyer, for 100,000 livres (pounds).
Marie Geanne-Emerentienne had previously owned the Chateau Manjoux in St. Pierre, which is visible from St. Philippe today. Unfortunately, most of the money for the purchase of St. Philippe was borrowed and in 1828 Marie was forced to sell the Chateau to repay the debt.
Baron Charles-Albert Favier du Noyer, Count of Chambost, the new owner from Lyon, took possession of the Chateau on June 22, 1828. Thirteen days later the Count bought the Chateau Palud in the same community.
The Count changed the old priory into a Chateau. He demolished the west half, including the chapel, rebuilt the east towers, enclosed the second floor with a gallery of wood and built the terrace that dominates the valley, opening up the monastic rooms. The current church in St. Jean de la Porte was built from the stone of the demolished church at St. Philippe.
The Count's daughter married into the Certeau family and inherited St. Philippe in 1873. In 1886 a judiciary sale took place and the Perriere family acquired the Chateau. St. Philippe passed from the Perriere family to Marie-Therese Martin, also Ms. Pierre-Gross and the great-niece of Perriere. She lived from 1905 to 1988. After her death, the Chateau was purchased by an Italian national and the Chateau again fell into a state of disrepair until the beginning of the 21st century.
In 2001 an American family purchased the Chateau St. Philippe. Since then, it has been completely restored. It has recently emerged from a five year restoration and been brought back to its former glory. The restoration has been tastefully done with care to represent the best of its historical past, adding all the modern touches that will preserve and protect it for generations to come.