Classified as a historical monument in 1961, the Castle of Lavardens was rebuilt by Antoine de Roquelaure, a faithful companion of King Henri IV, on the ruins of the castle of the Counts of Armagnac of which only a few remains remain today.
The existence of a castle is reported around 1140. The first known lord is Geraud de l'Isle Arbechan, vassal of the Count of Fezensac, then, by succession, the castle became the property of the Counts of Armagnac and a royal fortress under both English and French sovereignty.
In 1620, for the love of his young wife Suzanne de Bassabat, Antoine de Roquelaure undertook the construction of the present castle on the medieval foundations and surrounded himself with two great architects, Pierre Souffron, the king's general architect, and Pierre Levesville, one of the architects of the cathedral of Auch. The castle combines in a unique way the emerging classical taste with the feudal posture maintained.
He died in 1625 seeing only the beginning of the reconstruction.
Then, after an eventful history, the castle finally knows the revival with its classification as a historical monument.
The castle holds the attention by its exceptional party of belvedere, obtained thanks to a balcony developed on three frontages, with the abundant fenestration of immense crossings and with turrets in overhang. Designed to enjoy the widest horizon, it is one of the most beautiful views of Gascony.
The castle has seventeen rooms with different pavements, made of pink bricks (local terracotta) and cut stones (local light limestone).
Also worth seeing are the west towers, a real architectural feat for the time.
Since 1992, the castle has been open to the public all year round and since 1998, through the intermediary of the CICAC, the International Center for Contemporary Artistic Communication, it has offered temporary exhibitions, including the one in 2000, "In the Light and Night of Camille Claudel", which received more than 63,000 visitors over a period of two and a half months, giving the castle a new reputation.
The CICAC is now presided over by Olivier Cebe, a fine connoisseur and great craftsman of the heritage cause.
The objectives of this association are the restoration of the castle, the organization of artistic events including exhibitions, to offer a center of residence for the performing arts and to be a training organization in partnership with the National Conservatory of Toulouse, preparing the professional insertion of young artists of the lyric and musical scene,
Castle of Lavardens
Tel : 05 62 58 10 61
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