The story of St. Dizier really begins in the 13th century when Lord Guy II of Dampierre embarked on the construction of a walled town at the confluence of the rivers Marne and Ornel with the aim of guarding the borders of the French kingdom. St. Dizier was transformed into a strategically situated town and from the 15th century, a vital Royal stronghold. The castle was a pivotal point in the town defence during the 1544 siege, where 4,500 inhabitants stayed within its walls for about 2 months resisting the onslaught led by Charles V and his imperial army of 42,000 soldiers.
From the 16th century, the castle numbered among its occupant’s court dignitaries, royal personages such as Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots in 1560, the Cardinal of Lorraine in 1573, and in1588, the Duchess of Montpensier.
The Haute-Marne department bought the castle on the 6th July 1955 and installed the subprefecture offices here. Renovation work on the private apartments was finished in March 1959.
The towers, castle gates, terrace towers, mill, artillery battery and Saint-Esprit tower are listed as 13th century Historic Monuments. The bastion structure known as the ‘Cavalier’, is a 16th century Historic Monument.