The Castle of Captain Fracasse

Château de Castillon is one of the finest in the Landes department.

 

A little history...

The estate is the seat of a seigneury mentioned at the end of the 15th century, belonging to Robin de Benquet, then to the lord of Sainte-Croix, Paulin de Mongrand.

In 1606, the property was acquired by Jean-Bertrand de Baffoigne, whose father, prosecutor to the King of Navarre, had already built up a vast estate in the surrounding area through various purchases.
The same Jean-Bertrand de Baffoigne razed the medieval feudal castle and commissioned the architect Gratien de Lherm to build a new château in the classical Louis XIII style.
By marriage, the estate passed to the family of Viscount de Poudenx, Baron de Saint-Cricq, in the mid-17th century.

One of his descendants took part in the American War of Independence as a field marshal. One of his daughters married Jean-Pierre Gautier in 1810. In 1811, they had a son who would become one of the great novelists of the 19th century, Théophile Gautier. Théophile Gautier, born in Tarbes in 1811, stayed at the manor.
Impressed by the manor house, he used it as the setting for his most famous work, "Capitaine Fracasse", whose first chapter, entitled "Le château de la misère" ("The castle of misery") begins as follows: "On the reverse side of one of the gaunt hills that hunch over the Landes, between Dax and Mont-de-Marsan, stood, during the reign of Louis XIII, one of those gentleman's cottages so common in Gascony, and which the villagers decorate with the name of castle".

 

The château...

The château comprises a main building flanked by high pavilions, a gate pavilion and corner pavilions in the courtyard of honor, all in a simple, half-arched architectural style. The interiors have been modernized.

The château features elegant roof and facade dormers, and formal gardens designed by landscape architect André.

The facades and roofs of the château, with the exception of the modern pavilion to the right of the main building, were listed as historic monuments by decree on December 9, 1948.

The property, still privately owned, is listed but not open to the public. It can, however, be the starting point for a pleasant hike.

For further information, call 05 58 06 89 89.

 

Château de Castillon,

345, Route de Morcenx

40110 Arengosse

 


To go further....

Capitaine Fracasse

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