The castle of Julhans which sheltered the loves of Napoleon

The domain of "Julhans" is very old. There are Celtic vestiges as well as an oppidum on the heights of the Font-Blanche hill and even Roman burials.

Towards the end of the 10th century, William II, Count of Provence, vassal of the King of Burgundy and Provence, raises an army against the Saracens who have been pillaging Provence for two centuries and eventually seize the Fraxinet (La Garde Freinet).

To thank his comrades-in-arms, the Count of Provence distributes the newly liberated lands to them and the domain of "Julhans" falls to the Viscount of Marseille who builds a first castle there in 1030.

In 1212, the castle returned to a monk of Saint-Victor, who was excommunicated because of his conduct and especially because of his marriage. In 1229, the church became angry and the castle returned to the monastery of Saint-Victor.

Different owners will succeed one another, two brothers of Garnier becoming the lords of Julhans. They are the ones who built the current castle in 1639.

At the revolution, Julhans is bought by a rich merchant, François Clary who has two beautiful daughters: Julie-Marie and Desirée.

Napoleon Bonaparte, who was garrisoned in Cuges in the Bouches-du-Rhône, fell under Désirée's spell and took her away from her brother, Joseph, who eventually had to marry her sister Julie-Marie.

The castle was then home to Napoleon's and Desirée's love affairs.

Then Napoleon soon met Josephine and abandoned Desirée, who married General Bernadotte, who became King of Sweden.

A long time later, in 1959, the Caisse d'Assurances Sociales du Commerce de la Région de Constantine, in Algeria, bought the Château de Julhans to host summer camps.

When Algeria gained independence in 1962, the Algerian government became the owner.

A Homeric legal battle ensued.

During a rehabilitation the castle will lose its 4 pointed turrets.

An association of black feet has, voluntarily, restored part of the castle.

The castle cannot be visited, but it can be seen from the road, and the chapel is sometimes open.



Julhans Castle

13830 Roquefort la Bédoule

Tel : 04 94 33 68 38


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