The Château de Saint-Agnan in the commune of Saint-Agnan is being revived from the brink of abandonment.
A family with a passion for the region's heritage has decided to revive a château that has been dormant for over 70 years.
A little history
The Château d'Enjaux, steeped in history, was home to the popular Radio Toulouse from the 1930s until August 20, 1944, when it was partially destroyed by the Germans.
That was the end of Radio Toulouse.
The château was once home to Radio-Toulouse, France's most powerful private radio station. By 1925, Radio-Toulouse was already broadcasting from the hills of Balma, near Toulouse, until a fire destroyed the facilities in 1933.
The reconstruction of a more modern broadcasting facility, with increased power of 60 kw, was carried out on the Enjaux estate in Saint-Agnan, in the middle of a 70-hectare site.
The antenna consisted of two 120-meter-high guyed towers, located on either side of the château, 220 meters apart. A 400 m3 tank was provided to cool the lamps.
A 27-kilometre power line was built to supply electricity to a switching station hidden at the bottom of the valley by a grove of trees, several hundred metres from the château. From there, two underground cables sent the 13,500-volt current directly to the transmitter room.
The rich hours of Radio Toulouse
Alain Gillmann recalls the rich history of Radio-Toulouse in an article in "La Dépêche du Midi": "All the region's renowned orchestras, choirs and musical societies have made the trip to Saint-Agnan at least once, often to perform in public, always live on air, either in the park during the summer months, or in the studios. Evening broadcasts from the Théâtre du Capitole bring opera and operetta to the remotest corners of our countryside. The same goes for national and regional news. The village's only café, which has now disappeared, was the meeting place for all these tourists of the airwaves, who, when their visit was over, still hoped to see one of their idols between two broadcasts.
The star of the show was Jean Roy, who had been the station's popular announcer since its earliest days. Those were the days of galena sets and tube receivers. During the Occupation, the station's most popular program, "Le disque des auditeurs", was suppressed, the German authorities suspecting it was a convenient means of communication between resistance fighters.
Today, rebuilding the château
On August 30, 1944, the château was destroyed by the Germans.
The remains were gradually overgrown, and the most solid part was used as a farm shed from 1944 to 2017.
The new owners, Stephen and Virginie Ferrara, a couple of local entrepreneurs, arrived in November 2017 with the desire to rebuild the Château as it was in its heyday, in the 1930s.
Saint-Agnan's most famous building, the Château features in the correspondence of the Marquise de Sévigné.
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